Taylor Releases Morrow Co. Sheriff’s Office Audit

Office secretary owes nearly $8,000 back to county

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Mount Gilead -

State Auditor Mary Taylor released a special audit of the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) today alleging the theft of nearly $8,000 by an office secretary.
The audit says sheriff secretary, Debra Hill, was responsible for collecting cash from sheriff sales and depositing those funds. A review of the deposits found that $7,767 never made it into the MCSO’s civil bank account.

Taylor says Morrow County Sheriff Steve Brenneman asked the state auditor’s office to conduct the special audit after Hill admitted to losing approximately $10,000 in cash.

“I commend Sheriff Brenneman for notifying this office of suspected fraudulent activity and asking for a special audit of the civil bank account,” Taylor said. “As a result of our combined efforts, fraudulent activity was discovered and the employee is being prosecuted.”

The audit reviewed the office’s civil bank account from August 1, 2003 to April 26, 2005. Morrow County Prosecutors asked to delay the release of the special audit until the criminal investigation of Hill was complete.

In October 2005, prosecutors charged Hill with three counts of theft and two counts of tampering with evidence based on the information collected over the course of the special audit. Hill’s trial is set for June 4th in the Morrow County Common Pleas Court.

A special audit is an examination of financial records and other information designed to investigate allegations of fraud, theft, or misappropriation of public funds.

“A special audit is just one example of what my office can do to help combat fraud, abuse and misspending of public funds,” Taylor said.

With more than 700 auditors on staff, the Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation.  The Office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).

A copy of the full audit is available online at http://www.auditor.state.oh.us/Public/AuditSearch/detail.aspx?ReportID=58815