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Ohio Village Administrator, Village Council President Indicted


(MARTINSVILLE, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Clinton County Sheriff Ralph Fizer Jr., and Clinton County Prosecutor Richard Moyer announced today the indictments of three village of Martinsville employees on charges including theft in office.

The indictments are the result of a joint investigation by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI).

The investigation revealed that the three suspects, and at least two others who are also currently under investigation, improperly spent more than $100,000 of village funds from 2008 to 2013.

The following inpiduals were indicted by a Clinton County Grand Jury on Monday:

Carole Robinson, 74, Martinsville Village Council President

  • Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity
  • Tampering with Records
  • Theft in Office
  • Dereliction of Duty
  • Having Unlawful Interest in Public Contract
  • Representation by Present or Former Public Official or Employee Prohibited

Patience Comberger, 35, Martinsville Village Administrator

  • Theft in Office

James Robinson, 33, Martinsville General Laborer

  • Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity
  • Theft in Office
  • Illegal Manufacturing of Drugs
  • Illegal Assembly of Chemicals for the Manufacture of Drugs
  • Aggravated Possession of Drugs

Clinton County detectives began investigating the village’s finances after multiple complaints were made alleging corrupt activity by multiple people with access to village funds.

The investigation revealed that Carole Robinson knowingly allowed both her friend, Patience Comberger, and her grandson, James Robinson, to be paid regular salaries despite never performing any work for the village.

Investigators also found that Carole Robinson knowingly allowed James Robinson to spend tens of thousands of dollars of village funds on personal expenses, such as automotive equipment and supplies for cooking methamphetamine.  Search warrants executed by authorities during the course of the investigation uncovered four meth labs operated by James Robinson, including one located in the village pump house on State Route 134.

“Taxpayers in Martinsville trusted these defendants to make sure the village funds were spent for the betterment of the community,” said Attorney General DeWine.  “We will not allow this type of deception to happen in Ohio, and we are grateful to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office for uncovering this corruption.”

“I want to thank Attorney General Mike DeWine and his agents from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation for their hard work and long hours of investigation in assisting the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office,” said Sheriff Fizer.  “With all of us working together we have been able to stop the corrupt activity that has been occurring for several years in the village of Martinsville.”

"I agree with the statements of Sheriff Fizer and Attorney General DeWine.  I wish to thank those residents of the village of Martinsville who provided information during the investigation that put an end to the corrupt activity of the Robinson family,” said Prosecutor Moyer.

The Robinsons were both arrested this morning, and there is an outstanding warrant for Comberger's arrest.

Additional suspects will face charges in the future, but because the investigation is ongoing, no additional information will be released at this time.

Agents with the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation are available to assist local law enforcement and prosecutors with investigations, including cases of public corruption, free of charge. In 2012, BCI assisted local law enforcement in all of Ohio’s 88 counties in more than 1,600 investigations.


Media Contacts:

AGO: Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
AGO: Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840
Clinton County Sheriff's Office: 937-382-1611
Clinton County Prosecutor's Office: 937-382-4559

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