CLEVELAND, Ohio — Three Ohio Lottery Commission workers lost their jobs last week after a watchdog agency accused them of stealing nearly $3,000 in goods that belonged to the state from a Cleveland warehouse.
Scott Kronik, Walter Liszniansky and Jeffrey Chapman were fired on Friday, lottery spokeswoman Danielle Frizzi Babb said.
All three are scheduled to appear Feb. 28 at pre-trial hearings at Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court, court records say.
A grand jury on Dec. 21 handed up felony theft in office charges against the trio, that worked at the commission's warehouse on Perkins Avenue near the Agora Ballroom, according to court records.
The men are accused of taking scrap metal and wood pallets from the warehouse and selling the items at local junkyards, police and court records say. The group collected about $2,900 from the sales over a three-year period, amounting to about $1 per day per person.
The Ohio Inspector General's Office and the State Highway Patrol opened the investigation in July when a co-worker sent a complaint to the lottery commission, records say.
The complaint said that Kronik, an inventory control specialist, and deliverymen Liszniansky and Chapman were seen loading metal and pallets into their personal vehicles, records say. The men later returned to the warehouse, where they were seen dividing the cash, records say.
All three men were suspended and the complaint was turned over to the inspector general.
Investigators confirmed that two nearby scrap yards — The American Iron and Metal Scrap Yard and Maximum Pallets Corp. — bought materials from the men, records say. Scrap yard employees provided records and inventories of the sales, as well as photographs that showed Liszniansky and Chapman scrapping the items.
Liszniansky admitted to selling the goods, but said they started after the Ohio Lottery Commission stopped bringing in its own dumpster to get rid of the pallets and office supplies, and management told the workers to find a way to get rid of them, the report says.
Chapman told investigators that the men had been selling the items for "five or six years," and that the proceeds amounted to "lunch money," the report says.
The investigation identified a total of 56 instances where Kronik, Liszniansky and Chapman sold the items.
The probe also uncovered that Kronik and Liszniansky were caught several times sleeping on the job.
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