Strongsville Schools Maintenance Foreman Indicted For Alleged $65k Fraud

A John Deere 'Gator' XUV allegedly purchased by Schwerman with Strongsville school funds, Michael O'Malley (L), Dave Yost (R) [Annie Wu / ideastream]

A Strongsville City Schools maintenance foreman has been indicted on two counts for allegedly stealing some $65,000-worth of property.

An anonymous tip alerted the state auditor’s office that Robert Schwerman was using school funds to buy equipment for himself.

    Among his purchases, Schwerman bought a furnace and air conditioner for his home as well as a $20,000 mini utility vehicle, according to Cuyahoga County prosecutor Michael O’Malley.

    “They would be delivered in many instances to the Strongsville City School district maintenance garage, at which point he would pick them up and bring them home,” O’Malley said.

    The prosecutor’s office said Schwerman was responsible for approving all of his own purchasing invoices.

    “He was his own check and balance,” O’Malley said.

    “We call that a lack of segregation of duties,” Ohio Auditor Dave Yost added.

    A statement from Strongsville City School said it is implementing controls to protect the district in the future.

    Schwerman began working for Strongsville City Schools in 1991. When asked if he still worked for the district, Spokesman Dan Foust said, “We’re working through that right now.”

    The indictments, Theft in Office and Tampering with Records, are third-degree felonies, each of which carries a sentence of up to 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

    The Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office lists the following items confiscated during a search of Schwerman’s Columbia Station home.

    • Generator ($3,912)
    • Thermal camera ($3,775)
    • Snow plow ($3,500)
    • Air conditioner ($2,545)
    • Utility shed ($2,500)
    • Furnace ($1,792)
    • Water heater ($1,557)
    • Carport ($901)
    • Air purifier ($675)

    Schwerman’s lawyer declined to comment.

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