Ex-Springboro schools superintendent charged with theft in office, ethics violations

SPRINGBORO — A Warren County grand jury indicted a former Springboro Community City School District superintendent on theft in office and other charges stemming from his time as leader of the district, according to the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office.

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Daniel J. Schroer, 52, of Germantown, was indicted on 14 charges Monday, including tampering with evidence and theft in office, according to court records. Several investigations found Schroer falsified school records and took personal loans without disclosing them in required financial disclosure documents, a spokesperson for Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said in a media release Monday.

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The charges stemmed from an investigation launched in 2019 after an independent accounting firm for the school district notified the Ohio Auditor of State about inconsistences in Schroer’s use of sick leave, vacation days, and mileage reimbursements that were submitted to the district, the spokesperson said.

Springboro schools said the district initially found what they described as “irregularities of a financial nature.”

“Mr. Schroer is no longer employed by Springboro Schools, as the Board accepted his resignation on August 30, 2019, following an internal investigation, in order to avoid the cost of litigation,” Springboro schools said in a statement.

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A subsequent state auditor investigation found several instances of theft and ethics violations while Schroer was superintendent.

“In October 2019, the state auditor opened a preliminary investigation and subsequently determined that on 16 separate occasions, Schroer falsified school records to obtain reimbursement for travel not taken for school purposes,” the spokesperson said.

“Specifically, investigators obtained cell phone tower data, credit card and ATM records, and other evidence that demonstrated that Schroer falsified reimbursement logs and obtained $1,291.66 from the District for travel that either did not occur at all, or did not occur for school purposes.”

An investigation by the Ohio Ethics Commission found Schroer also received around $4,500 in personal loans from three employees who he was considering for recommendations for administrative positions in the district.

Several other personal loans were uncovered during the investigation, including loans totaling $3,500 from three different vendors, Helping Others Prepare for Excellence, Strategos Group, and CF Educational Solutions. Those vendors, at the time of the loans, were either doing or seeking to do business with the school district, the spokesperson said.

All three of the organizations ended up receiving district money for services including $21,000 to Strategos Group for consulting services in 2017 and $5,300 to HOPE for counseling services in 2018 through 2019, the spokesperson said.

CF Educations Solutions received $34,485 from the district “for services rendered” in 2019. Shortly after Schroer went to work for the company as their senior vice president, according to prosecutors.

Additionally investigators found Schroer solicited and received $6,800 in cash from two members of the district’s board of education.

According to prosecutors, Schroer was required to file an annual financial disclosure form with the Ohio Ethics Commission to disclose any loans over $1,000 while he was superintendent.

“The purpose of the financial disclosure filing is to alert the public of any potential conflicts of interest that a public official may have that could affect the administration of their position. In his 2017 and 2018 financial disclosure filing, Schroer did not disclose any of the aforementioned loans/potential conflicts of interest,” the prosecutor’s office spokesperson said.

“Aside from the numerous conflicts of interest that Mr. Schroer chose not to disclose, it’s just an extraordinarily sad day when someone that is responsible for educating students in our community is accused of stealing funds intended for those same students,” Fornshell said in the release.

Schroer is scheduled to be arraigned on the charges Aug. 20 in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Schroer has also been named in a civil lawsuit surrounding the case of Austin Hopkins. Earlier this year, the civil case was allowed to move forward, filed on behalf of family members of Hopkins’ victims. Hopkins was convicted of sexually abusing students while he was a gym teacher at the district’s Clearcreek Elementary School.