SALYERSVILLE – The plea deal for a former Salyersville Water Works superintendent was accepted in court on April 7, with the defendant sentenced to one year of home incarceration for reportedly stealing a large sum of money from the city’s water company during a period of time he worked there.
On Thursday, April 7 at a sentencing hearing in Magoffin County Circuit Court, the plea agreement, signed on March 10 was accepted, where Steven Shawn Rowe pleaded guilty to one count of theft by unlawful taking or disposition (Class C felony); two counts of theft by deception (Class D felonies); one count of second-degree forgery (Class D felony); and one count of fraudulent insurance acts (Class D felony).
According to the indictment, on or about August 2014 through August 2019, Rowe allegedly took money from Salyersville Water Works, where he was employed at the time, in an amount in excess of $20,000. The indictment also accuses Rowe of obtaining money from Salyersville Water Works as compensation for work he did not perform on two separate days in August 2015, totaling $2,350.88. He is also accused of signing the name of another person to a continuing disability claim form for AFLAC Insurance, as well as presenting written information in support of a claim for payment, knowing his statement contained false information and the claim resulted in him receiving $2,310 as a result of the fraudulent submission.
By accepting the Commonwealth’s offer on a plea of guilty, the court sentenced
Rowe to five years on each count, to run concurrently, with the sentence being suspended after service of six months, with the balance to be probated for five years.
Per the agreement, Rowe can satisfy the jail sentence with one year of home incarceration. Rowe is also to pay restitution in the amount of $32,764.45 to Salyersville Water Works and $3,960 to AFLAC Insurance. These amounts were to be paid by the sentencing date.
The charges against Rowe, who is the former superintendent of SWW, reportedly came from an investigation after Salyersville Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd took office, when the city took over oversight of Salyersville Water Works and hired an outside company to get the water district back in the black. When money couldn’t be accounted for, the investigation was turned over to Kentucky State Police’s forensic auditors, resulting in this case.
Rowe worked for SWW for a total of 23 years, just four years shy of being able to retire, serving as superintendent from 2012 until his resignation in 2019.
Editor’s Note: The indictment or charge of a person by a grand jury or otherwise is an accusation only and that person is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.