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IG Says Former ODNR Employee Misused State Resources

The Ohio Inspector General's office says a now-retired Ohio Department of Natural Resources official could face criminal charges for accepting payment for hours not worked, using his state vehicle for personal purposes, and misusing his state cell phone and email account. Jim Letizia reports.

Victor Ricks, a former law enforcement coordinator and manager of Alum Creek State Park, also operated an unlicensed private security business on state time and recruited 10 state employees to work for him, according to the report. The case has been sent the the Franklin County Prosecutor's office. Ricks retired in October of 2014, after the IG's investigation was launched. It shows Ricks charged for more than 100 hours of time he did not work, ran up more than 11 hundred miles of personal travel on a state vehicle, logged 110 hours of personal calls on his state cell phone and misused his state email account for personal reasons. He also was accused of charging hotel rooms on four nights to the state while on personal business. Ricks also solicited employees to work for his unlicensed private security business that served the Lancaster Festival. Ricks' wife Robyn Peterson planned their wedding on state time while she was working at the Ohio Department of Youth Services. She was given a written reprimand.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.