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Township trustee sentenced to probation after receiving improper compensation

• May 17, 2017 at 1:05 PM

PORT CLINTON —A former Clay Township Trustee was sentenced in Ottawa County to community service and restitution after pleading guilty to a public corruption charge.

Donald Widmer, 60, pleaded guilty on Monday to a bill of information of one count of soliciting or receiving improper compensation, a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Widmer was subsequently sentenced by Common Pleas Magistrate Sarah Nation to community service, a $750 fine, and $270 in restitution. Widmer also resigned his position as Clay Township trustee as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors. As a result of his conviction, Widmer is disqualified from holding any public office, employment, or position of trust in Ohio for a period of seven years from the date of conviction.

The charges related to Widmer's service in a previous role for Clay Township as township superintendent. In that role, Widmer was in charge of the township cemetery. According to the charges, Widmer in 2010 received a tombstone foundation for personal use without paying for it and altered township documents to hide the enrichment. The issue was subsequently reported to authorities when it was discovered by Clay Township employees after Widmer left that position.

The investigation in this matter was conducted by the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office. The Ohio Attorney General's Special Prosecutions Section served as special prosecutors.

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