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Published: Tuesday, 9/24/2013

Ex-clerk gets jail for office theft

BY JENNIFER FEEHAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A former clerk for the civil division of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office was handcuffed and led to jail Tuesday for stealing more than $17,000 from her former employer.

Tina Tardich, 50, of Swanton had pleaded guilty to theft in office last month in Lucas County Common Pleas Court. Prosecutors said she wrote checks totaling $17,478.13 from a county account for unclaimed funds to her ex-husband, her sister, and her sister’s boyfriend, and had them cash the checks for her.

The money was found a year and a half after Tardich resigned from the sheriff’s office Aug. 1, 2011.

Judge Myron Duhart placed her on community control for three years but ordered that she serve 30 days at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio near Stryker followed by 30 days in the Lucas County Work Release Program. He also ordered her to pay restitution of $17,478.13 and perform 200 hours of community service.

“Understand something, Ms. Tardich: You are going to have to deal with the repercussions of what you’ve done,” Judge Duhart told her. “That’s why I’m sending you to CCNO for 30 days. My hope is when you get out, with whatever resources you have, you pay this restitution and pay it quickly.”

The judge said that while Tardich had no prior juvenile or adult convictions, he did not believe she had shown genuine remorse for her actions, that she had blamed someone else, that she had abused a position of trust, and that she had caused psychological and financial damage to the office where she was employed.

She interrupted him, saying that that she took “full responsibility” for what she did. “This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through.”

Before the sentence was imposed, Tardich, who had faced up to three years in prison, said that if she was incarcerated, she did not know what would happen to the trucking firm she runs or to her mother, whom she cares for.

“You were in a position of trust and as a member of the county sheriff’s office that is real serious so certainly I hold you to a higher standard and those in the community hold you to a higher standard,” Judge Duhart said. “Every time that you violate that trust it's nothing to be taken lightly.”

The civil office, inside the county courthouse, oversees mortgage and tax foreclosures, sheriff’s sales, and serves civil papers.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.



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