Man charged with grand theft following Westlake ‘missing money’ investigation

Paul Johnson, 41, is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the Westlake Service Department Association.

Man charged with grand theft following Westlake ‘missing money’ investigation
Paul Johnson (Source: Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Department)

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A North Ridgeville man has been charged following a months-long investigation into money missing from an employee association.

Paul Johnson, 41, is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the Westlake Service Department Association.

Johnson was charged with grand theft, a fourth-degree felony, on Sept. 24. He pleaded not guilty and was released on a $2,500 personal bond.

Prosecutors say the amount of money or services stolen by Johnson is “valued at $7,500 or more and less than $150,000.”

The exact amount of the loss remains under investigation by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, but multiple sources tell 19 News the total was over $100,000.

Records show employees from the Westlake Service Department went to the police department on Dec. 27, 2018 to report “fraudulent activity they found on their union bank account.”

The Service Department employees are members of the Westlake Service Department Association, an employee association that represents dozens of city workers.

Because the investigation involved city employees, the Westlake Police Department turned the investigation over to BCI.

Johnson’s first pretrial hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 9.

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