Secretary accused of stealing $12,000

Christina Anthony


Credit: DKS Editors

A former administrative secretary accused of misappropriating at least $12,000 of university money plead not guilty Monday in Portage County Common Pleas Court.

Jody Khlem, 32, of Leavittsburg, faces the charge of theft in office, a third-degree felony.

According to police, Khlem used a university purchasing card to make personal purchases.

Purchasing cards are Master Card credit cards issued to employees for departmental purchases only.

According to court documents, Khlem made personal purchases on the card from April 22, 2004 until June 6, 2007.

Kent State police are still investigating, and the university does not comment on criminal cases.

Khlem worked for the Faculty Professional Development Center in Moulton Hall.

She began her career at Kent State Trumbull in 1994, worked as a secretary at Continuing Studies and the College of Business before becoming a secretary at the Faculty Professional Development Center.

On May 9, Carissa Burns, manager of Internal Audit, reported questionable purchases she found on the card statement, according to Kent State Police Detective Rick O’Neill.

A warrant for Khlem’s arrest was issued June 20 and she was taken into custody June 22. Bail was set at $20,000 and Khlem was released on her own recognizance.

If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine or double the amount of damage.

The pre-trial is set for 9 a.m. Nov. 16 and the trial set for 9 a.m. Dec 4.

Contact safety reporter Christina Anthony at [email protected].