SIDNEY – The Maplewood Fire Department’s treasurer and president both pleaded not guilty in separate cases regarding charges of theft and forgery from the organization’s bank accounts. Authorities are alleging the couple embezzled more than $185,000 from April 2016 through June 2019.
They entered the pleas during their arraignment in Shelby County Common Pleas Court on Thursday, Aug, 15. They were released on their own recognizance.
Jason R. Lemly, 39, was indicted by the Shelby County grand jury on one count of theft, a third-degree felony, and 26 counts of forgery, all fifth-degree felonies. He served as treasurer of the fire department.
Jessica L. Lemly, 30, was indicted on one count of theft, a third-degree felony. Mrs. Lemly served as president of the department.
The couple resides at 14382 Amsterdam Road, in rural Anna. They are being represented by attorney Scott R. Kelly of Sidney.
According to a press release from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, the Sheriff’s Office was contacted by officials of the Maplewood Fire Department on June 10, 2019, about fraudulent activity they had discovered on the department’s bank accounts.
During the course of the investigation, examiners claimed to have found that the Lemlys had embezzled funds for their personal gain.
Further investigation revealed a total of $185,408.69 was allegedly embezzled. It was also determined Jason Lemly allegedly forged the signature of a member of the fire department on multiple checks, with proceeds of those checks going to the Lemlys.
A jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 12.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.