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City finance director pleads guilty to payroll scheme

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(The Center Square) – A former assistant finance director in a wealthy Columbus suburb faces sixth months community confinement after pleading guilty to a payroll withholding scheme.

State Auditor Keith Fabor said Jessica Withem, 43, will also pay back $11,107.55 and give up her Ohio Public Employees Retirement System retirement account after pleading guilty to a felony count of tampering with record.

Fabor’s Special Investigations Unit confirmed Withem had accessed the city of Bexley’s payroll system and stopped deductions from her paychecks for insurance, tax, pension and other required withholdings.

The unit also determined she added unauthorized paid leave to her balances and deposited a check intended for the city into her personal bank account.

Prosecutors say Withem’s crimes occurred in 2021.

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