Village of Vinton Audit Reveals Overpayments and Other Illegal Payments

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Columbus - The Village of Vinton’s former fiscal officer paid herself $13,589 she wasn’t entitled to over a four-year period, according to the 2007-08 audit report released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Just because you handle the purse strings doesn’t mean you can give yourself a raise,” Auditor Yost said.  “The money must be repaid immediately.”
The audit report shows that former village Fiscal Officer Elizabeth Kelly and former Mayor Sam Sowards received overpayments on their salaries. Kelly’s yearly salary was $9,200 per year, and she was overpaid by a total of $13,589 through the course of the years 2005-2008.  Sowards received a total of $975 over-and-above the established $400 per month salary for 2007 and 2008.  Findings for recovery were issued in those amounts to the two officials.
Members of Kelly’s family received $3,264 in illegal reimbursements that did not have supporting documentation citing a public purpose and were consequently issued findings for recovery.  Kelly’s mother, Karen Dempsey, received four reimbursements for a total of $528.  Her husband, Kevin Kelley, collected twelve reimbursements for various purchases, totaling $2,341.  Kelly’s father and former councilmember, William Dempsey, was reimbursed on two occasions for a total of $395.
The Village of Vinton, population 222 (2010 census), received $116,000 in general fund revenue in 2008, but had a negative cash balance of $7,243 by end of year.  
The village also received citations for numerous control and budgetary issues.
A full copy of this audit is available online.


The Auditor of State is one of five independently elected offices under the Ohio Constitution. Auditor Yost’s office is responsible for auditing over 5,600 state and local government agencies. Staff also works in partnership with state and local governments to deal effectively with financial, accounting and budgetary issues.

Carrie Bartunek
Press Secretary
(614) 728-7198