Former prison deputy warden who stole nearly $19K in pay gets probation

A former deputy warden at Warren Correctional Institution who received nearly $19,000 for hours he did not work avoids a prison term.

Robert Welch, 57, of Dayton was sentenced Wednesday in Warren County Common Pleas Court to probation after he pleaded guilty Feb. 1 to theft in office. He had faced up to three years in prison for the third-degree felony, records show.

Welch was accused of recording more than 350 hours on Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Corrections time clocks when he was not actually working.

“Instead, Welch spent some of the ‘on the clock’ hours conducting his secondary employment as an adjunct professor,” Fornshell previously said.

Sinclair Community College confirmed that Welch worked as an instructor from Aug. 30, 2018, to Dec. 11, 2022.

The thefts occurred over a 10-month period, beginning in April 2022, Fornshell said.

ODRC conducted an administrative investigation and referred the case to the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Office of Criminal Investigation.

Welch started working for the Ohio prison system in August 2000 and resigned in April 2023, said JoEllen Smith, ODRC communications chief. He earned $53.01 an hour at the time of his resignation, she said.

A grand jury indicted Welch in October for three felony counts: theft in office, tampering with records and grand theft, but the latter two charges were dismissed as part of his plea. He also agreed to pay full restitution on or before his sentencing date.

Fornshell said in February that the prosecutor’s office recommended that Welch receive a prison term.

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