BELLBROOK, Ohio (WDTN) – Five members of the Bellbrook-Sugarcreek school board have filed Entry of Appearance, a move that automatically enters a not-guilty plea.

School superintendent Dr. Doug Cozad and four other board members are currently being charged for fraudulent actions during the district’s 2019 operating Levy campaign.

According to court documents obtained by our partners at Xenia Daily Gazette, Cozad was responsible for the language in a newsletter sent to the district and authorized the payment of government funds for its printing and mailing.

Documents say he is also responsible of the use of public funds to hire Allerton Hill Consulting to assist in “reviving and passing” another proposed operating levy which included a phone survey after the levy failed in May.

According to court documents, more than $57,000 in public funds were used.

According to Steve Pierson, the Xenia Municipal Clerk of Court, none of the members charged appeared in court today due to filing the EOA. 

The next step will be to schedule pre-trials, which will be held over the phone, Pierson said.