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Judge orders Walnut Township fiscal officer to resign

Columbus – A Fairfield County judge today (September 18) ordered the fiscal officer of Walnut Township to resign by Oct. 31 for unlawfully recommending her sister for a job with the township.

“Nepotism has no place in government,” Auditor Dave Yost said. “All job candidates are entitled to a level playing field and cannot be hired based on their relation to current employees.”

Lynn Kraner pleaded guilty today to a first-degree misdemeanor count of having an unlawful interest in a public contract. Fairfield County Common Pleas Judge David Trimmer sentenced her to 60 days in jail, suspended, and one year of probation.

Kraner was indicted in February after a trustee discovered that she recommended her sister for a job without divulging their relationship. Kraner’s sister uses a different last name.

The township paid her sister a total of $1,915 from 2014 through 2016. Kraner repaid that amount to the township today.

As part of her sentence, Kraner is prohibited from serving as a public official after Oct. 31. She is allowed to keep her job until that time so the township can hire a replacement.

Robert Smith, assistant chief legal counsel for the Auditor of State’s office, acted as special prosecutor in the case.

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