Mogadore employee accused of stealing $88,796 from village

For the second time in less than a decade, a Village of Mogadore employee has been accused of theft in office.

According to an April 11 indictment by a Portage County grand jury, former police administrative assistant and clerk Michelle M. Shutler, 51, was charged with third-degree felony counts of theft in office and tampering with records.

Shutler allegedly stole $88,796 from the village between October 2016 and November 2023, when, according to an April 12 village press release, the village discovered her “potential misconduct.”

Shutler was placed on unpaid administrative leave, and because Summit County has an internal audits department but Portage County doesn’t, the village contracted with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office to conduct a records audit.

Shutler was arrested and booked into the Portage County Jail on April 12, and remained there until April 15, when she was arraigned in Portage County Common Pleas Court. She was released on a $35,000 personal recognizance bond and ordered to report for random drug and alcohol testing.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 13, and criminal jury trial is set for June 18 in Portage County Common Pleas Court.

Court documents do not identify Shutler’s attorney.

Mogadore Law Director Jason Dodson said Shutler’s employment was terminated when the village received that audit report on Jan. 11, 2024. She was first employed with the village on a part-time basis on Sept. 9, 2013.

This is not the first time a village employee has been accused of theft. In June 2017, former assistant clerk-treasurer Lisa A. Grenus was charged with theft in office, a fourth-degree felony; and theft, a first-degree misdemeanor. Grenus was accused of stealing between $1,000 and $7,500 from the village between May 2014 and July 2014.

In 2018, she pleaded guilty to the charge of theft and was ordered to serve 180 days in Portage County Jail, to pay $5,400 restitution to the village and to forfeit almost $300 in court costs.

She was also placed on probation for two years, but court records indicate she was released from probation on March 13, 2019.

Though Shutler and Grenus worked for the village at the same time, Dodson said their job responsibilities were not interrelated and there is no allegation that the charges against Shutler are in any way related to Grenus’s case.

He also said the latest theft is not related to the village canceling its summer recreation program and does not affect funding for other village programs, services or departments. A news posting on the village website blames the cancellation on limited resources to meet safety and security needs.

The Portager’s April 15 email to Mogadore Mayor Mike Rick was referred to Dodson, who said the village has adopted a policy of not commenting beyond the press release.

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Wendy DiAlesandro is a former Record Publishing Co. reporter and contributing writer for The Portager.