Former Hamilton BMV registrar released on bond

Bonita Davis is charged with theft.

A former Hamilton deputy registrar accused of stealing more than $150,000 from a state association was arraigned today in Butler County Common Pleas Court.

Bonita Davis, 66, of Doe Run Court, Cincinnati, is the former deputy registrar of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles office on South Erie Boulevard in Hamilton.

She was indicted Wednesday on two counts of aggravated theft, both third-degree felonies, for allegedly stealing at least $151,500 between May 1, 2010, and May 31, 2015, according to the indictment by a Butler County grand jury.

The missing money came from the Ohio Deputy Registrar Association, according to Butler County Prosecutor Michael Gmoser. Davis was the treasurer of the association.

Davis was arrested Thursday and booked into the Butler County Jail.

Judge Charles Pater released Davis on her own recognizance and set a pre-trial hearing for July 12. Davis entered pleas of not guilty.

Gmoser said investigators do know what Davis used the money for, but he declined to disclose more details.

The charge carries a possible prison sentence of three years.

The Hamilton office suddenly closed April 13 and reopened last month with a new deputy registrar and staff of employees at Hamilton Crossing plaza.

Davis resigned the day the office closed. She had been a deputy registrar since October 1992, and her current agency contract was set to expire in 2019, according to BMV spokeswoman Lindsey Bohrer.