Charges filed in Animal Services investigation, director to retire

May 5, 2010

By Stuart R. Wahlin
Staff Writer

April 29, Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato (D) announced seven felony charges had been filed against a former account technician in the county’s Animal Services division.

Fifty-nine-year-old Gloria Ohman-Knox, of Shirland, is alleged to have stolen more than $10,000 over a five-year period. She is charged with one Class II felony count of theft, three Class III felony counts of theft and three Class III felony counts of official misconduct.

County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen (R) announced in January that an investigation had begun after Auditor Bill Crowley (D) discovered funds were missing during a routine audit. Ohman-Knox, a county employee for more than 20 years, was terminated the following month.

Investigators allege Ohman-Knox, who turned herself in to police after charges had been announced, acted alone. Her bond was set at $5,000.

Christiansen asserted the county expects to recoup the missing funds, the exact amount of which has not yet been determined, and that steps will be taken to ensure no further alleged theft can occur in the department.

Animal Services Director Gary Longanecker will retire in June, but officials asserted his departure has nothing to do with the ongoing investigation. Human Resources Administrator Dave Peterson will oversee the department in the interim.

From the May 5-11, 2010 issue

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