PRESS RELEASE, 7/31/2012

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announces indictment in Arlington Heights mother and daughter theft case

Today, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced the indictment of Cincinnati resident Laura Jarvis (DOB 11-1-79) and Reading resident Donna Covert (DOB 10-25-59) for 2 counts of Theft in Office (Felony 3), 2 counts of Tampering with Records (Felony 3) and 1 count of Unauthorized Use of Property (Felony 3).  The charges involve the theft of approximately $260,000.00 from the Village of Arlington Heights between July 1, 2007 – February 19, 2010.   If convicted of all charges, the defendants face the possibility of 15 years in prison.

In January 2010, Arlington Heights Police Chief Robert Lawson reported his concerns about the record keeping for the village’s traffic docket and his concern about possible theft.  The Ohio Attorney’s General Office and the State Auditor investigated his concerns which resulted in today’s indictment.

Covert worked for Arlington Heights starting in the early 1990’s and had a variety of jobs including Clerk of Court, Payroll Clerk, the mayor’s secretary and as an employee in the Human Resource division.  At various times her duties included making bank deposits for the village and supervising her daughter Laura Jarvis.  Jarvis was employed as a court clerk for Arlington Heights from 1998 – 2009.  Some of her duties included maintaining the traffic and criminal court records for the village, accepting payments on these cases, modifying/updating the citations in the law enforcement database, and making bank deposits.  Jarvis resigned from her job on December 31, 2009 and Covert resigned from her job on February 19, 2010.

The defendants used the money to pay for ordinary household expenses and medical bills.

Prosecutor Deters commented, “The Village Council needs to seriously consider dissolving the Village of Arlington Heights.  The Village seems to be nothing more than a speed trap with no checks and balances.  Two of its employees were using it as their personal cookie jar.  Consolidating with another political subdivision is long overdue.”