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Former Wapakoneta utilities department clerk charged with stealing over $150,000 from city

WAPAKONETA — A former clerk for the utilities department in Wapakoneta is facing over a dozen charges after she was accused of stealing over $150,000 from the city, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

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Christine Ann Steinke, 48, faces 15 charges including theft in office and tampering with records, following an investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and subsequent indictment on the charges by a Auglaize County grand jury, and Ohio AG’s spokesperson said in a media release Friday.

She’s accused of using her position as a clerk in the Wapakoneta Utilities Department to take portions of customer payments for her own use during an 11 year span from 2009 to 2021, the spokesperson said.

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BCI investigators started the investigation into Steinke after a software upgrade in the utilities department “revealed discrepancies.”

“The yearlong investigation initiated by the Wapakoneta Police Department and continued by Ohio BCI involved the gathering and review of thousands of pages of records, which resulted in the indictment against Steinke. While numerous businesses and government utility customers payments were involved, those customers did not suffer any direct loss,” Auglaize County Prosecutor Edwin Pierce said.

Steinke was placed on paid administrative leave in September 2021 before resigning from her position two months later.

Steinke was arrested and booked into the Auglaize County Jail Thursday but was released Friday on her own recognizance after a bond hearing in Auglaize County court, according to online jail records and the Ohio AG’s Office spokesperson.

“There’s no clearer example of abuse of power than stealing from those she serves for her own personal gain,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said. “The people of Auglaize County deserve better, and we want to ensure that justice prevails.”

Additional details were not released.