Monford pleads guilty to felonies in Met Housing case

May 10, 2013

LIMA — A local pastor and program director for a sober living home pleaded guilty Thursday to four felony charges related to his duties as a housing inspector for the Allen Metropolitan Housing Authority.

Bruce A. Monford Sr., 49, pleaded guilty to two counts of tampering with records, each a third-degree felony; one count of theft in office, a fourth-degree felony; and one count of theft in office, a fifth-degree felony.

Monford faces up to 8 1/2 years in prison when he is sentenced June 13. Six other criminal counts were dismissed in exchange for the plea.

Monford falsified time cards by listing hours he did not work and then turned in the time cards. That accounted for the two counts of tampering with records, Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick said.

“Theft of office was for hours he got paid that he didn’t work and for the use of a vehicle for private purposes,” Waldick said.

Investigators tailed Monford for a short period of time, which led to the charges. The total theft for that period was about $1,200, Waldick said.

“We only have evidence for the days we watched him,” Waldick said.

Monford was driving around town handling personal matters. He was at the Mary Alice House and pursuing other “private affairs” which Waldick declined to describe.

Agency Director Anna Schnippel and Met Housing Board President the Rev. Lamont Monford, Bruce Monford’s brother, could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Bruce A. Monford resigned his position as a housing inspector Wednesday, said Nicole Winget, legal counsel for the agency’s board of directors.

Monford’s sentencing will end the criminal cases against Met Housing employees. Last week, city prosecutors dismissed the misdemeanor case against Met Housing receptionist Cheryl Lawson, who authorities accused of filing a false workers’ compensation claim.

The dropping of charges follows the acquittal of Schnippel by a jury. She was accused of making a false statement; a jury ruled she did not.

Lawsuits are pending against the agency and its officials. The legal actions stem from the termination of former agency Director Cindi Ring. During Schnippel’s trial, accusations were made that employees associated with Ring’s time at Met Housing were out to get Schnippel and her employees.

Bruce Monford