Dalton appears in court

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – Holly Suzanne Dalton, 35, 821 Woods Lane, Martins Ferry, appeared on a status conference Friday before Judge John M. Solovan II where issues of her case were discussed. She will next appear in court July 18, where a trial date will be set.

Dalton is charged with theft in office, a felony of the third degree. She is accused of stealing about $35,000 from 2010-2013 while working at the Martins Ferry Water Department. The matter was brought to official attention when auditors found what looked like a discrepancy in the records.

During court, Solovan agreed to release a portion of PERS funds for defense to complete a retainer contract. Defense Attorney Donald Tennant Jr. reported talks with OPERS. The funds will be held by the clerk of courts. He noted that the funds have already been reduced through taxes but hopes the overage will be sufficient to finish the case.

He also said the city of Martins Ferry has not responded to a request for audit reports. In addition, he has also requested information regarding a computer service company that worked on the city’s computers and possible defects found in the city software.

“They’re important in the defense of the case,” Tennant said.

Solovan set a date of June 6 for the city to provide this information.

DeFrank can be reached at rdefrank@timesleaderonline.com