No indictment for husband of ex-director of Middletown senior center

Middletown City Council voted Tuesday to enter into a lease agreement with the possibility of later purchasing Central Connections senior citizens center.
Published: Oct. 4, 2023 at 12:12 PM EDT
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Video from previous coverage.

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WXIX) - The husband of a former senior center director, who is under investigation, will not be indicted.

A grand jury chose not to indict Vincent Smith on seven counts of passing bad checks, according to Butler County court documents.

Smith is the husband of Diane Rodgers, Middletown police confirmed. Rodgers is the now-former executive director of Central Connections.

Police say they are looking into reports of theft from a local organization and that Rodgers is the focus of that probe.

Although Rodgers hasn’t been charged, police previously confirmed that the charges Smith was arrested for in August were connected to the senior center.

Smith was accused of writing several checks totaling more than $56,000 from his bank to Central Connections, according to court records.

Those checks were returned for insufficient funds, leading investigators to think Smith was trying to return money that had been taken from the facility’s account, the court records explain.

Smith’s wife, Diane Rodges, was abruptly terminated in July by the board that oversees Central Connections senior center. She was escorted from the building by police and ordered to never return.

Middletown Police Chief David Birk has said Rodgers is the focus of an ongoing criminal investigation that is now receiving assistance from a forensic accountant with the state’s law enforcement agency, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Middletown City Council is trying to save the senior center from closing its doors amid its financial issues and the investigation.

The council voted in August to lease it while city officials continue exploring whether it is viable to buy the building and property on Central Avenue from the non-profit agency that owns it, Middletown Area Senior Citizens Inc.

Middletown Area Senior Citizens Inc. does business as Central Connections, according to online records at the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

The property is valued at $2.1 million, according to Butler County property records.

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