Ex Miami parking employee pleads guilty to felony

Ex Miami parking employee pleads guilty to felony

Former Miami University Parking Operations Supervisor Tommy Jessie pleaded guilty to felony theft on Feb. 17, for stealing almost $50,000 in parking funds from the university.

His sentencing hearing in Butler County Common Pleas Court is scheduled for March 24. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 12 months in jail, according to Ohio Revised Code.

According to the prosecution, Jessie, a 46-year-old Trenton resident, used digital card readers to give himself about $30,000 in refunds from the parking system onto his credit cards. The parking office uses such readers to give refunds on disputed parking fees. The rest of the money was taken in cash and coins from cash boxes in the parking garages between Aug. 30, 2019, and Aug. 20, 2021. Jessie worked for the university for about nine years and part of his job was to take the money from the cash boxes and deposit it. 

The thefts occurred during the period that Miami was switching from cash to digital payments for all purchases, including parking, made on campus. According to the Butler County Prosecutor’s Office, the campus’ transition from cash to credit cards was a factor in the crime not being immediately detected.

Jessie remains free on bond, pending his sentencing. According to the prosecutor’s office, he made restitution for the $49,987.96 that was stolen. He was fired from Miami Aug. 20, 2021, when the thefts were discovered, according to the university.