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Former JCC vice president convicted of Class II felony

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A former Jefferson Community College vice president was fired from his position as dean of the University Center in Rapid City, Iowa, after being convicted of a Class II felony.

Craig Johnson and his wife were convicted of unauthorized use of organization funds in Bisbee, Ariz., while he was the National Association of Branch Campus Administrators treasurer, according to the Rapid City Journal in South Dakota.

“Craig Johnson was employed at Jefferson as our vice president for community engagement from January 2009 through August of 2011,” JCC spokeswoman Karen J. Freeman said. “The vice president of community engagement position was eliminated due to budget constraints. He oversaw continuing education, institutional research, marketing, instructional technology and advancement areas along with the Small Business Development Center at the college.”

According to the Rapid City Journal, 46 checks were written from July 2007 to December 2009. A 2009 audit found the discrepancies. The Johnsons were charged with stealing $16,100 on 56 accounts in May 2012 and convicted Aug. 5. They were sentenced to a $500 fine and three years’ probation and were ordered to pay restitution.

The Journal reported the story Sept. 6.

“The explanations were things like having to catch up on their mortgage, using the money because they were behind on bills, or an emergency medical situation for a parent,” wrote Jennifer Naylor Gesick, Journal staff writer.

When the University Center, where Mr. Johnson had been employed since October 2011, found out about his charges, a team of auditors was sent in. No irregularities were found, however.

“People that embezzle from their employers and places like that, I see a lot of repeat offenders,” Lori Vucco, deputy county attorney for Cochise County, told the Journal.

“I don’t know them personally, but I’d say if he is in a public position or a position where he has some sort of fiduciary responsibilities, I would be wary of that,” she said.

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