Ex-corrections officer allegedly stole from soldier’s memorial fund

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Caption
A May trial date has been set for Halle Gudgell who is charged with theft involving allegedly taking money from a memorial fund.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A May trial date has been set for a former Butler County Sheriff’s corrections officer who allegedly stole cash from a fundraiser for a soldier’s memorial scholarship fund.

Halle Gudgell, 21, of Hamilton, was charged in February with theft, according to Hamilton Municipal Court records. She was in court Tuesday morning for a pre-trial hearing where Judge Dan Gattermeyer scheduled a trial for May 22.

Defense attorney Kathleen Batliner confirmed the allegations involve money allegedly taken during a fundraiser for Miami University Hamilton’s scholarship in Corp. Nicholas Olivas’ memory.

But, Batliner said, “My client is innocent.”

Olivas, a Hamilton native and Fairfield High School graduate, was killed May 30, 2012, when a device exploded while he was on patrol in Zharay, Afghanistan.

Gudgell was a probationary employee at the sheriff’s office and resigned when confronted about an ongoing investigation by Hamilton Police, according to the sheriff’s office.

“She was on probation at the time. She was confronted with the allegations and chose to resign. When an employee is on probation there is a great deal of scrutiny with any legal contact,” Chief Deputy Anthony Dwyer told the Journal-News.

Gudgell was hired in August 2016 and resigned Jan. 30, according to the sheriff’s office.

A money box was allegedly removed by Gudgell from Miami University Hamilton on June 2, according to the Hamilton police report. Gudgell was arrested Feb 1 after an investigation.

Police declined to disclose how much money was taken, but the charge is a misdemeanor so by law it is less that $1,000.

Court documents obtained by the Journal-News state: “Halle Gudgell stole cash from a cash box from a fundraiser at Miami University Hamilton.”

Gudgell is charged with first-degree misdemeanor theft, which carries a possible sentence of 180 days in jail.

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