UNION TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - A Clermont County grand jury has returned a six-count indictment against a former Union Township trustee and administrator.
Carl Douglas Walker was a trustee until he resigned on March 2, 2006 and was appointed to the position of Union Township Administrator.
He was terminated from that job August 12, 2008. Near the date of his termination, the Auditor of the State of Ohio conducted an audit/investigation into allegations of financial misconduct by Mr. Walker as Trustee and township administrator with regard to township contracts with his son's engineering firm. The Auditor's findings were referred to the Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC).
The OEC launched an investigation, and in the process discovered the FBI was also investigating him. The OEC placed its investigation on hold, waiting for the FBI to complete its investigation. After being advised that the FBI did not intend to present any charges against Walker to a federal grand jury, the OEC, using the documents received from the FBI, along with documents from the Auditor and Union Township, continued its investigation.
The first phase of the investigation was presented during a special grand jury session on Friday, saying that while Walker was a trustee, he violated ORC §2921.42(A)(1), which states that public officials should not knowingly, "Authorize, or employ the authority or influence of the public official's office to secure authorization of any public contract in which the public official, a member of the public official's family, or any of the public official's business associates has an interest."
The grand jury returned a six count indictment for similar violations of ORC §2921.42(A)(1), all fourth degree felonies, punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine on each count.
Investigators say all six counts are ethics law violations wherein Walker voted for and approved separate payments of nearly $100,000.00 to his son, Mark Walker's, engineering firm, Professional Engineering Group, LLC. A summons will be issued by the clerk and Mr. Walker will be served in the near future.
The second phase of the allegations against Walker involve the period of time when he was the township administrator from March 3, 2006 to August 12, 2008. Prosecutors are in the process of reviewing and completing the FBI and OEC investigations, including transactions where Union Township paid Mark Walker's engineering firm over $700,000 during the period of time Carl Douglas Walker was the township administrator.