July 12, 2016
Former Executive Director of an Ohio Transportation Nonprofit Indicted for Theft
On July 12, 2016, Denise L. Birt, former Executive Director of Tri-County Community Action Commission (TCCAC), was indicted on multiple theft charges by the Logan County Prosecutor’s Office, Bellefontaine, OH. Birt was charged with securing writings by deception, theft, falsification, tampering with records, and grand theft.
TCCAC is a nonprofit organization that provides transportation services in Shelby, Champaign, and Logan Counties of Ohio. The Ohio Department of Transportation was the recipient of approximately $2,720,658 of the Federal Transit Administration’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant funds earmarked to TCCAC. The funds were used to purchase and renovate an administrative and maintenance facility located at 315 W. Auburn Ave., Bellefontaine, OH.
On October 30, 2012, Birt and Robert Notestine, Board Chairman, TCCAC, obtained a $275,000 mortgage loan from Liberty National Bank (Liberty), which was secured by a mortgage lien on the transportation building. Birt obtained the mortgage from Liberty by misrepresenting the title of record to the property and provided an erroneous deed. Subsequently, TCCAC defaulted on the loan, and Liberty filed a lawsuit to foreclose on the property.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation jointly with the Logan County, OH, Prosecutor’s Office and the Office of the Ohio State Auditor.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.