Cuyahoga County woman indicted for stealing from the city Solon

Cuyahoga County woman indicted for stealing from the city Solon

SOLON, OH (WOIO) - A woman has been indicted for theft in office and records show it relates to the Operations and Finances of the Solon Center for the Arts.

Karen Prasser has been indicted on four charges including theft in office and tampering with records.

"I lived for that arts center. That was my life. I can explain everything," Karen Prasser to 19 Action News reporter Ed Gallek.

Defense Attorney Caryn Groedel is calling the charges false. She said its all based on the "systematic termination of older employees."

Court records show the investigation involves bookkeeping, reimbursements, the stealing of city time, handling of fundraising and grant monies and more.

Ms. Prasser was director of the Solon Arts Center. The nonprofit was organized to support the arts center. It's a distinct entity that was supposed to have an arm's length relationship with the city, but Ms. Prasser had city employees doing work for the nonprofit on city time and using city computers and other equipment.

According to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's office Ms. Prasser broke the law in two ways: By directing city employees to do work, often using city equipment, for the nonprofit Friends of the Solon Center for the Arts. She also instructed them to fill out incorrect time cards, which she then approved, for work done on behalf of the nonprofit. We estimate of the city services diverted to the nonprofit at $12,500. We are not alleging that Ms. Prasser pocketed money.

Karen Prasser's last day with Solon was Sept. 6.

The investigation goes back all the way to 2006.

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