Former Wapakoneta utility clerk indicted


15 felony counts for abuse of power in office

WAPAKONETA — Following an investigation led by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Auglaize County Prosecutor Edwin A. Pierce jointly announced Friday that a grand jury has indicted Christine Ann Steinke on 15 felony charges related to the theft of more than $150,000 from the city of Wapakoneta.

“There’s no clearer example of abuse of power than stealing from those she serves for her own personal gain,” Yost said. “The people of Auglaize County deserve better, and we want to ensure that justice prevails.”

Steinke, a former utility clerk in Wapakoneta’s Utilities Department, was indicted Thursday on 13 felony counts of tampering with records and two felony counts of theft in office. The indictment alleges that, while serving as utility clerk from 2009 to 2021, Steinke took portions of customer payments to the department for her own personal use.

BCI was asked to investigate after a software upgrade by the Utilities Department revealed discrepancies and local police were alerted to the alleged thefts. Upon completion of its investigation, BCI referred the findings to the Auglaize County Prosecutor’s Office.

“The yearlong investigation initiated by the Wapakoneta Police Department and continued by Ohio BCI involved the gathering and review of thousands of pages of records, which resulted in the indictment against Steinke,” Prosecuting Attorney Pierce said. “While numerous businesses and government utility customers payments were involved, those customers did not suffer any direct loss.”

Steinke was taken into custody Thursday evening and released Friday on her own recognizance after a bond hearing in the Auglaize County Common Pleas Court.

She had been placed on paid leave in September 2021; two months later, she resigned her position.

15 felony counts for abuse of power in office