Former fair treasurer appears in court

By Brandon Semler -

The former treasurer for the Madison County Agricultural Society attended her informal pretrial hearing Monday in Madison County Common Pleas Court.

Brenda K. Roseberry, 63, of West Jefferson, is charged with three counts of failing to file state income tax returns for the organization. She reportedly failed to file the returns and pay third-quarter payroll withholding taxes for the fair board in 2009, 2012 and 2013.

Robert Smith, the assistant chief legal counsel for the Ohio Auditor of State, is prosecuting the case.

Roseberry also has a civil lawsuit stemming from her former job with the ag society. Judge Eamon Costello said Monday that the civil proceedings are moving on roughly the same track.

Fair board members filed the civil lawsuit against Roseberry in May, accusing the woman of not only failing to file and pay the organization’s taxes and bond insurance, but most significantly, of withdrawing $60,491 from fair accounts in September without authorization.

The suit also said Roseberry didn’t file the board’s federal tax returns for 10 years. As a result, it lost nonprofit status and was forced to pay unspecified penalties and interest.

Roger Eckelberry and Jacqueline Matthews of the Baker Hostetler law firm in Columbus are representing the fair board in the civil case.

County prosecutor Steve Pronai requested help from state auditor Dave Yost, who appointed Robert Smith to handle the case.

Smith previously told The Press that the withdrawal of $60,000 would not be pursued as a theft charge because Roseberry was apparently victim to a scam, and had no criminal intent.

Roseberry’s formal pretrial hearing is currently scheduled for Aug. 13.

Brandon Semler can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1615 or via Twitter @BrandonSemler.

By Brandon Semler