A former Orange Township official charged with theft in office will be arraigned on Jan. 11 in Delaware County Common Pleas Court.
Thomas G. Farahay, 64, of 21 Carriage Drive, Delaware, was charged with theft in office, which is a fifth-degree felony, on Dec. 2 by the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office.
At the time, no date had been set for an arraignment but court documents now indicate he will be arraigned at 11:15 a.m. Jan. 11 in Judge David Gormley’s courtroom.
Farahay was fired as zoning inspector by Orange Township trustees on June 5 after an investigation began. At that time Farahay had worked for the township for about 15 years.
The charge became official after first assistant county prosecutor Kyle Rohrer filed a bill of information with Delaware County Common Pleas Court last week, alleging that Farahay stole money from the township between Feb. 1, 2012, and March 1, 2015.
Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien said that, while Farahay was the zoning inspector for Orange Township, he accepted cash for sign permits. However, instead of recording the transaction, Farahay destroyed the paperwork and took the money for himself, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors said that if Farahay is convicted, he will be required to repay the money and could receive between six to 12 months in prison, have to pay a fine of up to $2,500 and would be barred from again holding public office in Ohio.
This is not Farahay’s first felony charge. In 1991, he was convicted of aggravated drug trafficking in Wood County Common Pleas Court. Bowling Green police said Farahay was involved in trafficking cocaine.
According to Wood County Common Pleas Court, he was sentenced to three years in prison and was ordered to pay a fine by Judge Donald Decessna. He was released in 1994, according to court documents.
David Hray, a former employee of the Franklin County Economic Development and Planning Department, was hired as the new zoning and planning director in Orange Township on Sept. 14.
Rohrer explained that a bill of information was filed because Farahay waived his right to have his case presented to a grand jury.
Farahay is a former reporter at The Gazette.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.