Ex-Springboro superintendent sentenced to three years probation for theft in office

Springboro’s former superintendent was placed on three years probation and ordered to pay court costs during his sentencing hearing Thursday in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Daniel Schroer, 53, of Germantown, entered guilty pleas March 4 to tampering with records, a third-degree felony; theft in office, a fourth-degree felony; filing a false disclosure statement and representation by public official/employer, both first-degree misdemeanors.

Judge Donald Oda II imposed the sentence, opting not to incarcerate Schroer because he was not a risk to the community and that it would not do any good for him to see the inside of a jail cell. Oda said he was “not in the forgiveness business” and adding Schroer represents an inherent conflict in the criminal justice system.

“It’s sad for the community that we have something like this,” Oda said. “It’s sad to see folks we place our trust in disappoint us.”

Oda also said while Schroer has taken responsibility for what happened, all the good things that Schroer accomplished as Springboro’s school superintendent are gone now. He also said Schroer’s actions are just another example why young people don’t respect authority of teachers, police officers and judges.

“I have good people who do stupid things; I have stupid people doing bad things; and I have bad people doing really, really evil things,” Oda said. “You fall into the first bucket.”

The former superintendent faced a maximum of more than four years in prison. He is also barred from holding any public office, employment or position of trust in Ohio.

Oda said if he violates any of the conditions of probation, Schroer will see jail time. “Make sure you or I don’t see each other again,” Oda said.

In his comments to the court, Schroer admitted to the “mis-actions I did as Springboro superintendent, I take full responsibility and I apologize. The buck stops with me.”

Schroer also said when he makes wrong decisions, he makes them right and make sure he doesn’t do them again.

He also told the court that he never meant to steal from the district and never meant to be unethical as he asked forgiveness from the court, community, family and friends. As he spoke to the court, family and friends sat behind him in gallery.

The Ohio Auditor’s Office found Schroer, 53, of Germantown, was reimbursed for mileage for 29 trips that he didn’t take or weren’t connected to the district and claimed more than 120 working hours that he did not work or use leave for while he was superintendent.

Springboro hired Schroer as Springboro’s superintendent in 2016 and he resigned effective Aug. 30, 2019. His salary at the time was $154,000.

The audit says Schroer was paid $2,189 for 29 trips that he either didn’t take or weren’t needed for his job, and was paid for 120.5 hours where he didn’t work or use leave, totaling $8,573. The audit was for between January 2017 and June 7, 2019.

The Ohio Auditor’s Office opened an investigation into Schroer in October 2019 after an accounting firm for the district reported inconsistencies with sick leave, vacation days and mileage reimbursements that Schroer submitted, according to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office. That investigation found he falsified records 16 times and was reimbursed $1,291.66 for travel that either didn’t happen or wasn’t related to the district.

Scott Marshall, a spokesman for Springboro schools, noted the district discovered the discrepancies internally, investigated and then passed it on to the Ohio Auditor’s office.

According to the most recent audit, Schroer has repaid $10,735 misappropriated from the district out of money that the district owed the former superintendent and both parties had agreed to hold in escrow.

An Ohio Ethics Commission report also found he solicited and got $4,500 in personal loans from people whom he was considering for administrative positions in the district, and according to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, solicited about $3,500 in personal loans from three vendors and got $6,800 in cash from Springboro board of education members Dave Stuckey and Charles Anderson.

Anderson told the Dayton Daily News last August the school board reported the discrepancies to the appropriate people. As for the loans, Anderson said he loaned the money to Schroer because he was having problems selling his home and other properties from his previous job in northern Ohio.

“We both offered to help him move here because we wanted to see him get off on the right foot here,” Anderson said. “He paid us both back.”

Anderson and Stuckey were re-elected to four-year terms on the school board.

Superintendents are required to disclose finances, including any loans of more than $1,000, to the Ohio Ethics Commission, according to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.

Staff Writer Eileen McClory contributed to this report

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