Ex-Gratis officlal gets probation for theft in office

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Ex-Gratis officlal gets probation for theft in office

A former Gratis public official will serve three years probation after pleading guilty to felony charges,including theft in office.

Serrer Phillips, who served as mayor and fiscal officer of the village, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft in office and one count was tampering with records. All three are third-degree felonies.

Prosecutors wanted prison time, but the judge decided on probation.

As partof the sentencing, Phillips is never allowed to hold public office. She has to pay restitution $54,486.84

Phillips has apparently apready paid $20,000 in restitution.If she violates her probation, Phillips could get two years in jail.

In December 2011, the Ohio auditor's office announced more than $62,000 of Gratis public funds were misspent or missing. The audit covered 2008-2010, according to the state.

Phillips was responsible for keeping track of utility payments and making deposits to the village's bank account during those years, the state said.

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