Former University employee to face 4 felony counts

Stepha Poulin and Stepha Poulin

Gail Houtz, former member of the Financial Aid staff at the University, is facing two counts of theft and two counts of tampering with records following an investigation by the Wood County Prosecutor.

Specifically, the indictment lists two fourth degree felony counts of “theft in office” and two third degree felony counts of “tampering with records.”

In October 2017, Houtz resigned from her position as Senior Financial Aid Coordinator at the University. Court records reveal she will face charges after the investigation found evidence of altered financial aid documents, allegedly carried out by Houtz.

Two students are mentioned in the indictment under separate, third degree felony counts of tampering with records. Records are available online via the Wood County Clerk of Courts.

Senior Daniel Landis, music education major, is one of the students revealed in these counts. The other student did not reply to a request to comment.

“I didn’t know anything about this until I received the email,” Landis said, regarding Houtz allegedly altering his records. Landis declined to make any further comment.

The University will not comment further, as it is still an open case.

Houtz holds two degrees from the University: a bachelor’s and master’s degree in education and training. The University employed her in 1999, and she served on the Salary Compensation Committee for 11 years.

About four years prior to this criminal investigation, she was awarded the 2014 Outstanding Service Award at the University.

“Gail Houtz’s natural leadership is born out of her intense dedication and caring, both for the University and for the community,” reads a news update about the award on the University website.

The news update has since been removed from the University website, however, it can still be viewed through Google’s web cache tool.

Houtz was notified about her upcoming hearing on March 8. The arraignment is scheduled for March 23 at 1:30 p.m. at the Wood County Common Pleas Court.