New Castle News


September 17, 2013

Police say Yauger wrote of guilt, confessions

NEW CASTLE — The former IU IV executive director allegedly wrote on her office computer about her guilt over her credit card misuse.

Cecelia H. Yauger, 55, of Grove City, is facing felony charges of theft and unauthorized access device fraud. She was charged and arrested Friday by Grove City police, following allegations by the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV that she had many improper expenditures on her agency-issued credit card that were for questionable or undocumented purchases.

Timothy McNickle, IU IV’s solicitor, said Monday the final total amount the unit is claiming is $72,477, based on reports of an audit conducted by Hill Barth and King of Hermitage this year.

According to a criminal complaint filed by Grove City police, Yauger had created a word document titled “Talking to God” on her work computer. The 118-page document details Yauger’s thoughts and her guilt in the matter, and she made numerous admissions, police allege.

“The more I face reality the more I know I was wrong. The evidence is there. I have to own it and move on,” she allegedly wrote.

According to police, she also wrote, “My bad decisions have finally buried me,” and “I feel like a thief or criminal in hiding because I am,” and “I used the card for the wrong reasons. I know it. I did it.”

Yauger had been presented with a right-to-know request from a Pittsburgh law firm for her use of the American Express credit card issued to her by the intermediate unit, according to police.

On March 19, she reportedly sent a letter to McNickle and the IU IV board of directors, saying, “I am guilty of making poor decisions and choices when it comes to accounting for and engaging in work-related expenditures.”

She also allegedly wrote there are items on the credit card bills that are “personal,” and that she had fallen “into bad practice of convenience.”

On April 12, Yauger signed a binding, six-page resignation, agreeing to make restitution. She resigned from the IU IV director’s post April 24.

The reimbursement amount was to be determined by Hill, Barth & King, which had conducted the formal audit. The firm gave its report to the board of directors June 19, when the board voted to send the audit results to the Grove City police.

The audit examined credit card statements, purchase orders, Yauger’s calendar and schedule of work events to determine whether undocumented expenses were possibly work-related. The findings show her undocumented or questionable expenses total $72,477 between 2007 and April 30, 2013.

“I think the reason this is an issue is because there’s an allegation that there was an absence of receipts,” Yauger’s attorney, Eugene P. Tempesta, said Monday. “But an absence of receipts does not make something illegal. I believe that we can show that expenses were work-related.

“There may be some that we may not be able to show, nor can anyone show they were non-work-related because some of them occurred over seven years ago,” Tempesta continued. “Significant time has passed and that could be an issue.”

The board and its solicitor had determined the bills not definitively listed as justified business expenses will be included in the total amount expected for restitution.

Yauger waived her right to a preliminary hearing. At her preliminary arraignment, District Judge D. Neil McEwen set an usecured bond of $10,000. That means she is free, but must pay the bond if she fails to show for court.

Her formal arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 12 in Mercer County court.

The board of directors also had agreed to send the audit results to the FBI, the state inspector general and state’s department of education. McNickle said Monday he does not know the status of those investigations.

Of Yauger’s reputation, Tempesta commented, “I think Cecelia’s 35 years of dedication to the school districts in the various communities and the hundreds of thousands of students that she touched will become apparent when this is completed.”

In August, the IU IV board hired Dr. Wayde Killmeyer as the new executive director of the state agency, which provides support and services to about 27 school districts in Mercer, Lawrence and Butler counties. He formerly had been superintendent of the Clairton School District in Allegheny County.

As a result of the credit card issue, the board has imposed a new whistleblower policy for the intermediate unit employees.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • money.jpg Council OKs funds to remove dead trees

    New Castle City Council has approved spending funds from its contingency account to remove some trees at Darlington Park. Marshall Tree Experts of Ellwood City has given an estimate of $12,000 to remove the large elm trees from the Mahoningtown park.


    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • 12.jpg Photo Gallery, Story: Night light

    The balloons may have been on the ground but spirits were soaring.


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • StateFair.jpg 'State Fair' coming to Playhouse

    The fair is coming to town. No, not the Lawrence County Fair, although that is right around the corner. This is the Iowa State Fair, and it will be live on the stage of the New Castle Playhouse for three weeks, starting Friday night.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • accountant.jpg DeLorenzo’s status with authority unchanged

    Deno DeLorenzo’s status as a contract employee with the New Castle Sanitation Authority remains unchanged. Authority board members met with DeLorenzo last week regarding an investigation by the Lawrence County district attorney’s office involving Shenango Township funds.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Detroit area man dies in Ellwood City gunfire

    A triple shooting in an Ellwood City street has claimed the life of a Detroit area man. Gunfire erupted in the middle of Loop Street outside the Walnut Ridge housing project around 10:20 p.m. Sunday, according to state police.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baptism1.jpg Dipped downtown

    John the Baptist identified himself as “the voice of one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’ ” On Saturday, local evangelist Randy Crum once again took a cue from the son of Elizabeth and Zechariah, eschewing the locusts and honey that John was known to munch on but heading out into the wilds to baptize believers and challenge them to share their faith with their community.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • lamancusa.jpg Tanner, district attorney: No comment

    The Lawrence County District Attorney is keeping mum about a probe into finances in Shenango Township. “We don’t talk about ongoing investigations,” Lamancusa said Friday.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo 5 Stories

  • Shenango1.jpg Shenango Township: Supervisors fire Tanner, release DeLorenzo

    The Shenango supervisors fired township secretary/treasurer Brian Tanner and terminated auditor and consultant Deno DeLorenzo last night.

    July 18, 2014 3 Photos 4 Stories

  • gavel.jpg Shenango to take action on Tanner, DeLorenzo

    Shenango’s supervisors will act Thursday night on the employment contracts of two men being investigated for possible theft of township funds.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • money.jpg Shenango computers, financial papers seized

    Investigators have seized computers and a host of financial paperwork from the Shenango Township Municipal Building.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

House Ads

The Steelers opened training camp this weekend. How do you see them faring this season?

Super Bowl
Division champs
Wild card team
Missing playoffs for a third straight year
     View Results