Nelsonville City Hall

Nelsonville City Hall.

Former Nelsonville Deputy Auditor Stephanie Wilson on Thursday pleaded guilty to theft-related charges during her time as the City of Nelsonville’s deputy auditor.

Wilson, 43, of Stewart, appeared in front of Judge George McCarthy with her attorney, Jo Kiser. The prosecution and defense came to an agreement on the charges, but a hearing will take place on Feb. 17 at 9:30 a.m. to determine sentencing and restitution.

Wilson ultimately pleaded guilty to tampering with records, a fourth-degree felony; forgery, a fourth-degree felony; telecommunications fraud, a third-degree felony; and theft in office, a third-degree felony. The charges hold a maximum prison sentence of nine years with a $30,000 fine, and the state asserts that restitution is more than $200,000. The defense will argue for a lower restitution amount and punishment, according to a news release from the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office.

“I’m grateful to the investigators for the work they’ve put into gathering the evidence that has led to these findings of guilt,” said Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn in a media release. “I also appreciate the work of the State Auditor and look forward to arguing for a lengthy prison sentence and presenting a case for recovery of more than $200,000 Stephanie Wilson has taken from the city of Nelsonville.”

An Athens County grand jury indicted Wilson in February, The Athens NEWS previously reported.

She was employed with the City of Nelsonville from 2012 until her resignation in February.

Earlier this year, Nelsonville City Auditor Taylor Sappington reported several “irregularities in the payroll and direct deposit reports” to Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn.

“Wilson, who worked for the city of Nelsonville as a deputy auditor and was responsible for payroll since 2012, is accused of fabricating payroll records to have money electronically transferred to an account under her control,” according to a statement from Blackburn’s office released in February.

Wilson agreed at the time to resign from her position with the city of Nelsonville, as well as step down from an unrelated position as a member of Federal Hocking Local School Board.

Garry Dickerson, Nelsonville’s former auditor, previously said he “hadn’t noticed anything” wrong while working with Wilson, saying that she was in charge of payroll for the city during his time as city auditor.

“She must have been flying under the radar somehow,” Dickerson said at the time, adding that he was “shocked” and “never suspected anything.”

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