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Published: Thursday, 7/10/2014

Perrysburg Schools worker charged with theft waives preliminary hearing

BY MATT THOMPSON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Eric Whitson Eric Whitson
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Eric Whitson waived his preliminary hearing on two fourth-degree felony theft charges Thursday and his case will be before a Wood County grand jury within two months.

The Perrysburg Schools employee who handled accounts receivable matters in the treasurer‘s office, was arrested at work last week and charged with the theft of $80,000.

Perrysburg Municipal Court Judge Molly Mack on Thursday added a condition to Mr. Whitson‘s bond -- he cannot have any contact with Hollywood Casino or any other location with the game of chance. Wood County Assistant Prosecutor Tom Matuszak said he could not comment on the reason for the additional bond condition.

Peter Halleck, Mr. Whitson‘s attorney,‍ said he had no objections to the additional bond condition.

Mr. Whitson, whose bond was set last week at $80,000 with several conditions, waived on Thursday the preliminary hearing which is to show probable cause to the judge to send to the case to the grand jury. The county has 60 days to present the case to the grand jury. If probable cause is found by the grand jury, Mr. Whitson will have another arraignment with the county Common Pleas Court, where he would enter a plea and a bond and trial date would be set.

He is accused of writing two Perrysburg Schools checks totaling $80,000 that were sent to the Bowling Green Athletics Boosters in February. Mr. Whitson was treasurer of the boosters club and the checks, the prosecutor alleges, replenished what he took from that organization.

The arrest came at the Commodore Building on July 2. Mr. Whitson, 30, has worked with the district for 10 years. He is suspended from his job by the school district. Schools Superintendent Tom Hosler has expressed concerns that more school money could have been stolen but hasn‘t been discovered. ‍

His bond was set last week at $80,000 and he posted the required 10 percent and was released from jail. He lives in Bowling Green with his parents. Conditions on the bond say he is prohibited from communicating with school district employees, the Bowling Green Athletics Boosters, or the Northwest Ohio Leukemia Foundation. He also is not permitted to leave Wood County or to enter Perrysburg School grounds. 

Contact Matt Thompson at: mthompson@theblade.com, 419-356-8786, or on Twitter at @mthompson25.



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