Wednesday, May 23, 2018
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Ethics probe ends with reprimand in Maumee

Mayor accepted loan from city employee

Maumee Mayor Tim Wagener received a "public reprimand" from the Ohio Ethics Commission after admitting he intermingled his personal finances with his public office.

The settlement agreement between the mayor and the commission included the reprimand in lieu of referring the matter to the Lucas County prosecutor's office.

Mayor Wagener said Monday he was glad the issue was behind him.

"I am thankful the issue that I referred to the Ohio Ethics Commission 16 months ago is resolved and I am looking forward to doing the job that the voters elected me to do last fall, and that is to keep Maumee moving forward," he said.

Even with public awareness of the investigation and some calls for him to resign, Mayor Wagener easily won re-election in November, beating Republican City Councilman Timothy Pauken with 63 percent of the vote. The contested election was only his second in 12 years.

The ethics commission investigated Mayor Wagener for accepting personal loans from a city employee, who was a friend, when he was struggling financially in recent years. The allegations of misconduct include claims that the mayor obtained a list of retiring city employees and their spouses in an attempt to sell them annuities through his insurance work.

The mayor borrowed money from Linda Wilker, Maumee's assistant finance director. The money was not repaid until after the investigation was launched.

"[Mayor] Wagener advised [Ms.] Wilker in 2006 of financial troubles he was experiencing and [Ms.] Wilker offered to [the mayor] an initial cash loan in the amount of $2,500, which [the mayor] accepted," the settlement agreement states.

"In 2006 or 2007 [Mayor] Wagener requested that Wilker pay $400 to another city employee who wanted to sell a used vehicle to [Mayor] Wagener's son." The son repaid that loan.

The settlement also stated: "In 2010, [Mayor] Wagener suffered a stroke and advised commission investigators that he had no recollection of accepting two additional loans from [Ms.] Wilker in 2009 and 2010." She told the commission that he requested $500 in 2009 and $400 more in June, 2010.

He repaid the money in January, 2010, after city council questioned the loan arrangement.

Ms. Wilker said she did not feel compelled to lend her superior the money and that she did not expect the money to be repaid.

Maumee City Council President Rich Carr, a Republican, said he was not surprised by the agreement.

"They said there were mitigating facts and one of them was that council knew he had not repaid the loan," Mr. Carr said. "He had represented that he had paid it off and he never had. We found out later."

Council member Jenny Barlos, a Democrat like the mayor, declined to comment on the settlement because she had not yet read it.

Mrs. Barlos said she didn't anticipate renewed calls for Mayor Wagener to resign.

Councilman John Boellner, also a Democrat, said he was also pleased the matter was closed.

"This was out before the election, and the mayor still got over 60 percent of the vote," he said.

Contact Ignazio Messina at: or 419-724-6171.

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