A former post office employee is facing charges of theft and tampering with records while he was employed at the post office in The Plains.

Mark E. Ewing, 33, of Jacksonville, pleaded innocent Wednesday during an arraignment on the two fifth-degree felony charges in Athens County Common Pleas Court.

Ewing was the officer in charge at the post office in The Plains at the time of the alleged crimes. He is no longer an employee of the Postal Service.

According to a news release from the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Ewing is alleged to have used his position with the post office to embezzle approximately $3,220 in postal funds.

Ewing was released on his own recognizance after appearing for the hearing on summons.

He is the second postal employee prosecuted in recent months in Athens County according to the news release.

Matthew C. Messer, a former postmaster relief at the Amesville Post Office, was sentenced in August to five-years of community control and ordered to pay more than $4,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to tampering with records charges. Messer was indicted on the charges in December 2014. Messer is also no longer employed with the Postal Service.

Both cases were investigated by special agents with the U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General in Columbus.

shawley@athensmessenger.com, @SarahHmessenger

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