Former Jacksonville Mayor Charged With Grand Theft

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A former Jacksonville mayor accused of misappropriating more than $19,000 in village funds faces multiple charges.

George Pallo, 56, of Jacksonville was charged in the Athens County Common Pleas Court with a bill of information alleging two counts of theft in office and two counts of grand theft, both fourth degree felonies.

Pallo, who resigned as the mayor of Jacksonville on Tuesday, is accused of depositing village funds in the 501(C)3 Jacksonville Fire Fund and using some village funds for personal use between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 2012. 

Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said Pallo opened a credit card in the Village of Jacksonville's name without authorization so he could purchase a lawn mower, but indicated to village officials that he used money from the fire fund that was given to the Village as a reimbursement for a gas explosion.

Blackburn said Pallo then wrote checks to cash out of the 501(C)3 fund and used the money for both legitimate and personal expenses.

The total theft is alleged to be more than $19,000, including more than $5,000 that the Village now owes for the lawnmower.

The Ohio Investigative Unit initiated the investigation because of the alleged misuse of charitable donations from two liquor permit premises in Athens County. This led the unit to contact the Athens County Prosecutor's Office and expand the investigation into funds associated with the Village of Jacksonville and the Jacksonville Fire Fund.

"These accusations against George Pallo have tarnished his lifetime service to the Village of Jacksonville and Athens County," said Blackburn. "Mr. Pallo has sacrificed many personal hours to aid the citizens in and around Jacksonville. It is disappointing that he has made decisions to personally benefit himself with the money given for public use."

Pallo is set to make an initial appearance on the bill of information on Jan. 18.