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Published: Thursday, 8/27/2009

Sylvania city employee pleads not guilty to theft

A Sylvania City Department of Utilities employee pleaded not guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court yesterday to charges that she stole money from her employer and tampered with her own water bill.

Annette Smith, 53, of Sylvania was charged with theft in office and tampering with rec ords. If convicted, she faces up to 6 years in prison.

Authorities said Ms. Smith stole cash from the city s water permit fees between March 12 and June 10. The total amount allegedly taken was $4,966.18.

The tampering charge stems from allegations Ms. Smith made entries into her personal water account to block delinquency notifications.

Ms. Smith worked for the city nearly 30 years. She is in the process of retiring, said John Thebes, her attorney.

Judge Linda Jennings released her on her own recognizance and set a Sept. 22 court date.

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