NORWOOD, Ohio -- Former Norwood City School District superintendent Rob Amodio stole tens of thousands of dollars from the school district he managed before his sudden Aug. 11 resignation, according to court documents and a letter from the Norwood Board of Education.
"We are deeply disturbed by the shocking breach of the trust our community placed in Mr. Amodio," the letter reads. "He abused his position of authorities as NCS' longtime chief executive officer by intercepting checks before they could be deposited in the appropriate NCS account."
Amodio, who served as the district's superintendent for two years, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft Tuesday. Court documents list the amount he stole as $63,004, while the board's letter claims it was $51,768.
According to the Norwood Board of Education's letter, a regularly scheduled state audit of one community school uncovered a missing check about which Amodio told conflicting stories.
To auditors, he said it had been lost; to board members, he said the money had been mistakenly deposited into the wrong account. The State of Ohio then opened a special audit to ascertain the truth, uncovering further theft in the process.
Board members wrote Tuesday that Amodio had agreed to return the stolen money as a condition of his plea agreement and the district had begun strengthening its anti-fraud protections in order to prevent similar incidents in the future.
"While no system can always prevent someone with significant access and authority like a superintendent from attempting theft, we can make it extremely difficult and, as here, ultimately unsuccessful," the letter reads.
G.G. Hammons, a mother with children in the Norwood City School District, said Tuesday night she was disappointed to learn of the theft but felt confident in Amodio's replacement, Kathy Sabo, to guide the district forward.
"(The money) could've went to our parks; it could've went to new uniforms for our sports," she said. "I'm just glad we'll get someone else in here who's really going to lead the way."