Ex-clerk pleads in checks theft case

Swanton woman stole more than $17,000 from court

8/20/2013
BLADE STAFF

A former clerk for the civil division of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office admitted in court Monday that she had checks written from a county account to people who cashed them and gave her the money.

Tina Tardich, 50, of Swanton pleaded guilty to theft in office in Lucas County Common Pleas Court for stealing more than $17,000 while she was employed by the sheriff’s office. She faces up to three years in prison when she is sentenced Sept. 24 by Judge Myron Duhart.

Claudia Ford, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, said she will make no recommendation on sentencing, although the plea agreement calls for Tardich to reimburse the county for an amount “not to exceed $17,478.13.” A second charge in the indictment, grand theft, will be dismissed.

From 1997 until her resignation Aug. 1, 2011, Tardich worked at the courthouse in the sheriff’s civil division, which oversees mortgage and tax foreclosures, runs sheriff’s sales, and serves civil papers to residents in the county.

Between October, 2010, and February, 2011, Tardich wrote checks totaling $17,478 to her ex-husband, her sister, and her sister’s boyfriend from an account for unclaimed funds, Ms. Ford told the court.

The theft was discovered by another clerk after Tardich left her job.

Ms. Ford said after the hearing that Tardich told family members she had tried to purchase foreclosed properties, put down “good faith” money as a deposit, but then was to receive a refund once the sale did not occur. But she told them the checks could not be written in her name, Ms. Ford said.