Former city employee guilty of theft in office

TROY — A former Hobart Arena office manager on Wednesday entered a plea of guilty in court to stealing approximately $267,000 since 2017.

Cheryl Terry, 60, of Tipp City, entered the guilty plea by bill of information and waived her right to a grand jury on one count of third-degree felony theft in office.

According to reports, Terry began depositing cash funds in her personal bank accounts around the spring of 2017 when the arena reclaimed its concession stand funds. Terry also funneled cash from rental and lease agreements as well as cash from drop-in hockey sessions at the arena. She used the funds to support her daughter who lived in Texas who was named on one of the accounts involved in the investigation. The funds were to pay for her daughter’s car payment and dining and other living expenses at her home in Texas.

Terry was represented by defense attorney Jon Paul Rion. She was released on her own recognizance and ordered to appear for a pre-sentence investigation. Her sentencing date was set for Oct. 26. No further charges will be filed in exchange for the guilty plea, according to Prosecutor Paul Watkins.

The investigation began following a trash can fire in Director Ken Siler’s office last April. Terry admitted to starting the fire in retaliation for not receiving a raise. Terry worked for Hobart Arena for more than 20 years.

During the preliminary stages of the fire investigation, Terry retired from the city of Troy on May 5 without explanation or warning. A tip from one of the involved banks stated they witnessed Terry make large cash deposits.

Further investigation revealed the grand total of $267,000 had been taken. A search warrant was conducted at Terry’s residence on June 5.

Terry met with Capt. Jeff Kunkleman for an interview in June. According to the initial report, Terry said she was “strapped for money.” She also expressed frustration for being passed over for raises and promotions over the years. There was also no accounting software to show services invoiced or accounts received.

According to reports, Terry stole $10,642 in 2020; $100,835 in 2019; and $95,877 in 2018; and $62,217 in 2017 for a total of $269,571. The restitution amount of $267,000 was agreed upon by Terry and the state.