Taylor Audit Identifies Nearly $1 Million Missing

Former Ripley Clerk Allegedly Misappropriated Village Funds

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Brown County - Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the special audit investigation of the village of Ripley, identifying $952,618 in findings for recovery against former utilities clerk Katherine Lang for utility payments that were collected but not deposited into a village account.

“The abuse of the public’s trust and the misuse of taxpayer dollars cannot be tolerated,” Taylor said. “I am pleased my office was able to work with village officials to identify the extent of the missing funds.”

As a utilities clerk, Lang was responsible for processing customer payments and posting each payment amount to the customer’s account in the village utility system. The audit found that in several instances when a cash payment was made Lang did not include it in the deposit. In addition, several new utility account deposits were not recorded correctly, resulting in money that was collected but not deposited.

Lang was recently indicted by a Brown County grand jury on three counts of theft in office and seven counts of tampering with records, all third degree felonies, which occurred between January 2006 and October 2009. Jim Manken, assistant chief legal counsel for the Auditor of State’s office has been appointed special prosecutor for the case by Brown County Prosecutor Jessica Little.

The audit released today also includes several management recommendations for Ripley officials consideration. These recommendations should help prevent future misuse of taxpayer funds.


The Ohio Auditor of State's office is a leader in the government accounting and auditing field, earning prestigious national honors from the Government Finance Officers Association, the National White Collar Crime Center and the National State Auditors Association.

Jeannie Foley
Deputy Press Secretary
(614) 644-1111