Woodland caretaker stole from cemetery

Published 12:01 am Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lee Morgan sentenced to jail time for theft

The superintendent of Woodland Cemetery has been charged and sentenced to jail time for stealing from the cemetery.

Lee E. Morgan, 31, was arrested Sept. 29 and pleaded guilty to theft charges Thursday in Ironton Municipal Court.

According to a police report filed Sept. 27, Morgan’s wife, Mallory Morgan, alerted cemetery board member Bob Ackerman to the thefts. She and Ackerman recovered several items including two chain saws, a hedge trimmer, a backpack leaf blower and a wood chipper from a pawn shop in Ashland, Ky.

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Morgan had also pawned gas powered weed eaters, but they had been sold, according to the report.

Morgan was sentenced to six months in jail, five months of which have been suspended for a total of one month in the Lawrence County Jail. He has also been sentenced to 30 days of community service and is required to pay restitution, a $200 fine and court costs.

In all, Lee Morgan stole about $5,400 worth of equipment and also stole several other items including jewelry from Mallory Morgan.

Lee Morgan has been suspended without pay and will be terminated at the next board meeting Thursday, Ackerman said.

The board has not decided on a replacement for Lee Morgan, he said.

“Mallory’s running the cemetery right now and we’ve got a foreman in the cemetery that actually does the work,” Ackerman said. “Mallory will be the overseer until some things are decided.”

Mallory and Lee started working at the cemetery three years ago. Mallory manages the money, all of which was accounted for at the last audit, Ackerman said.

The cemetery operates with money from the sell of grave plots and with perpetual-care funds. It is governed by a board with a representative from the Upper Township Trustees, the Ironton City Council and an at large member. Neither the City of Ironton nor the Upper Township contributes to the cemetery’s budget.

Mallory Morgan, who has filed for divorce from Lee Morgan, declined to comment Friday.

Messages left for Lee Morgan on a number provided by Mallory were not returned.