Former Springboro superintendent changes plea to guilty on four charges

Two charges are felonies, including theft in office; sentencing is April 21

Springboro’s former superintendent of schools entered guilty pleas to four of the 15 charges against him during a pre-trial hearing Friday in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Daniel J. Schroer, 53, of Germantown, was accused of receiving more than $15,000 in connection to falsified records and personal checks and cash from district vendors, employees and school board members.

At his August arraignment, he pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

On Friday, Schroer entered guilty pleas to tampering with records, a third-degree felony; theft in office, a fourth-degree felony; filing a false disclosure statement and representation by public official/employer, both first-degree misdemeanors.

Judge Donald E. Oda II dismissed the other 11 charges as part of the plea agreement. Oda order a pre-sentence investigation to be conducted and set the sentencing hearing for 10:45 a.m. April 21.

Schroer was scheduled for a two-day trial starting March 31.

He is facing maximum prison terms of 36 months for the tampering with records charge; 18 months for the theft in office; and up to 180 days each on the two misdemeanor charges.

The court entry also said Schroer acknowledged he will be barred from holding any future public office, employment or position of trust in Ohio.

“This case is not about simple errors in judgment or not understanding conflicts of interest. Schroer repeatedly lied when he submitted fraudulent mileage reimbursement forms for trips that he knew he never took,” Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell wrote in a social media post.

Schroer was indicted by a Warren County grand jury July 30 on five counts of tampering with records, two counts of theft in office, two counts of filing a false disclosure statement and six counts of representation by public official or employer. The tampering with records and theft charges are felonies and the filing a false disclosure statement and representation by public official or employer are misdemeanors, according to the grand jury report.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

Schroer was hired as Springboro’s superintendent in 2016 and resigned effective Aug. 30, 2019. His salary at the time was $154,000.

In October 2019, the Ohio Auditor of State opened an investigation into Schroer after an accounting firm for the school district reported inconsistencies with sick leave, vacation days and mileage reimbursements Schroer submitted, according to Fornshell.

The investigation found Schroer falsified records 16 times. Using cellphone tower data, credit card and ATM records and other evidence, investigators determined Schroer was reimbursed $1,291.66 for travel that either didn’t happen or was not related to the district.

Investigators also referred Schroer to the Ohio Ethics Commission after finding other financial irregularities. Ohio Ethics Commission investigators found that Schroer solicited and received $4,500 in personal loans from three employees he was considering for administrative positions for the district, according to Fornshell.

He reportedly received $3,500 in personal loans from three vendors, Helping Others Prepare for Excellence (HOPE), Strategos Group and CF Educational Solutions, who were doing or wanted to do business with the school district.

Schroer was also accused of soliciting and receiving $6,800 in cash from board of education members Dave Stuckey and Charles Anderson.

Anderson told the Dayton Daily News in August that the discrepancies were reported to the appropriate people by the school board. As for the loans, Anderson said he and Stuckey loaned the money to Schroer because he was having problems selling his home and other properties from his previous job in northern Ohio.

“We both offered to help him move here because we wanted to see him get off on the right foot here,” Anderson said. “He paid us both back.”

Both Anderson and Stuckey were re-elected to new four-year terms on the Springboro school board.

Superintendents are required to disclose finances, including any loans of more than $1,000, to the Ohio Ethics Commission, according to Fornshell.

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