Fiscal Integrity Act (FIA)

The Fiscal Integrity Act (FIA), enacted March 23, 2015, raises the bar of accountability for fiscal officers across the state. The law helps deter accounting errors and fraud with increased training requirements and a new removal process for fiscal officers.
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Education Requirements

Newly elected, hired, or appointed fiscal officers must complete:

  • 6 hours of initial education courses before commencing their term in office or within the first year in office.
  • 18 hours of additional continuing education courses before the end of their first term in office.
    • If the fiscal officer is appointed to fill a vacancy, the total hours for training will be based on the amount of time left in the unexpired term.

Re-elected fiscal officers must complete:

  • 12 hours of continuing education courses before the end of each subsequent term (including 2 hours of ethics training).

Fiscal officers may count certain training programs or seminars, including:

  • Public-records training offered by the AOS or Attorney General (3 hours).
  • Continuing education hours completed as a CPA.
  • CPIM training.
  • Hours from an approved continuing education course taught by the fiscal officer.

Fiscal officers who fall under the requirements include city auditors; city treasurers; township fiscal officers; village fiscal officers; village clerk-treasurers; village clerks; and, in the case of a municipality with a charter, whomever the charter designates as responsible for the duties of these offices.

Training Opportunities

The Auditor of State's office provides educational opportunities to keep Ohio's local government officials up-to-date on Ohio laws. Check out our Training Agenda for available training opportunities.

Removal
Process

The law provides that a fiscal officer can be removed from office if there is clear and convincing evidence the fiscal officer acted knowingly, purposefully, or recklessly in engaging in misconduct or failure to act. That determination is made after substantial due process, starting with a written affidavit and any evidence.

Prior to removal of a fiscal officer, the evidence is reviewed by the Auditor of State and then the Attorney General. If the Attorney General agrees with the Auditor of State’s findings, the Attorney General will initiate a lawsuit for removal of the officer in the Court of Common Pleas of the jurisdiction where the misconduct took place.

Any fiscal officer removed from office cannot hold another public office for four years and until repayment or restitution required by the court is satisfied.

Removal Process for:

County Treasurer

The following requirements must be met to move forward with removal-from-office proceedings:

Evidence that a county treasurer purposely, knowingly, or recklessly failed to perform a fiscal duty expressly imposed by law with respect to the duties of the office of fiscal officer or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly committed any act expressly prohibited by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office

AND

A sworn affidavit submitted to the Auditor of State by a county commissioner or the county auditor with allegations and evidence against the county treasurer

Once the affidavit is submitted:

  • The Auditor of State has at least 30 days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations.
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is no convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to the county treasurer and the person who submitted the allegations.
      OR
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to both individuals mentioned above as well as the Ohio Attorney General for further review.
  • Upon receipt of the complaint, the Attorney General has at least 10 business days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations.
    • If the Attorney General determines there is no convincing evidence, the Attorney General will notify the Auditor of State, county treasurer, and the person who submitted the allegations via certified mail.
      OR
    • If the Attorney General determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to all individuals mentioned above, and an action for removal of the county treasurer from office will be initiated.
      • The Attorney General shall act within 45 days to take the case to court to remove the county treasurer from office.
  • The court may issue an order prohibiting the county treasurer from performing any official duties before or during the court proceedings
  • In the case of a not-guilty verdict, the board of county commissioners is responsible for paying the attorney fees for the county treasurer.
  • In the case of a guilty verdict, the county treasurer is responsible for reimbursing the board of county commissioners for the attorney fees and costs up to a reasonable amount.

In addition to the removal process, the Fiscal Integrity Act also provides that if a county treasurer fails to perform the duties of office for 30 consecutive days, except in case of sickness or injury, the office will be deemed vacant.

County Auditor

The following requirements must be met to move forward with removal-from-office proceedings:

Evidence that a county auditor purposely, knowingly, or recklessly failed to perform a fiscal duty expressly imposed by law with respect to the duties of the office of fiscal officer or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly committed any act expressly prohibited by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office

AND

A sworn affidavit submitted to the Auditor of State by a county commissioner or the county auditor with allegations and evidence against the county auditor

Once the affidavit is submitted:

  • The Auditor of State has at least 30 days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations.
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is no convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to the county auditor and the person who submitted the allegations.
      OR
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to both individuals mentioned above as well as the Ohio Attorney General for further review.
  • Upon receipt of the complaint the Attorney General has at least 10 business days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations.
    • If the Attorney General determines there is no convincing evidence, the Attorney General will notify the Auditor of State, county auditor, and the person who submitted the allegations via certified mail.
      OR
    • If the Attorney General determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to all individuals mentioned above, and an action for removal of the county auditor from office will be initiated.
      • The Attorney General shall act within 45 days to take the case to court to remove the county auditor from office.
  • The court may issue an order prohibiting the county auditor from performing any official duties before or during the court proceedings.
  • In the case of a not-guilty verdict, the board of county commissioners is responsible for paying the attorney fees for the county auditor.
  • In the case of a guilty verdict, the county auditor is responsible for reimbursing the board of county commissioners for the attorney fees and costs up to a reasonable amount.

In addition to the removal process, the Fiscal Integrity Act also provides that if a county auditor fails to perform the duties of office for 30 consecutive days, except in case of sickness or injury, the office will be deemed vacant.

Township Fiscal Officer

The following requirements must be met to move forward with removal-from-office proceedings:

Evidence that a township fiscal officer purposely, knowingly, or recklessly failed to perform a fiscal duty expressly imposed by law with respect to the duties of the office of fiscal officer or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly committed any act expressly prohibited by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office

AND

A sworn affidavit submitted to the Auditor of State by four residents of the township with allegations and evidence against the fiscal officer

Once the affidavit is submitted:

  • The Auditor of State has no more than 30 days, unless good cause shows additional time is required, to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations.
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is no convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to the township fiscal officer and the person who submitted the allegations.
      OR
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to both individuals mentioned above as well as the Ohio Attorney General for further review.
  • Upon receipt of the complaint the Attorney General has at least 10 business days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations.
    • If the Attorney General determines there is no convincing evidence, the Attorney General will notify the Auditor of State, township fiscal officer, and the person who submitted the allegations via certified mail.
      OR
    • If the Attorney General determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to all individuals mentioned above, and an action for removal of the township fiscal officer from office will be initiated.
      • The Attorney General shall act within 45 days to take the case to court to remove the township fiscal officer from office.
  • The court may issue an order prohibiting the township fiscal officer from performing any official duties before or during the court proceedings
  • In the case of a not-guilty verdict, the board of county commissioners is responsible for paying the attorney fees for the township fiscal officer.
  • In the case of a guilty verdict, the township fiscal officer is responsible for reimbursing the board of county commissioners for the attorney fees and costs up to a reasonable amount.

In addition to the removal process, the Fiscal Integrity Act also provides that if a township fiscal officer fails to perform the duties of office for 30 consecutive days, except in case of sickness or injury, the office will be deemed vacant.

Municipal Fiscal Officer

Municipal fiscal officers include city auditors; city treasurers; village fiscal officers; village clerks-treasurers; village clerks; and, in the case of a municipality with a charter, whomever the charter designates as responsible for the duties of these offices.

The following requirements must be met to move forward with removal-from-office proceedings:

Evidence that a municipal fiscal officer purposely, knowingly, or recklessly failed to perform a fiscal duty expressly imposed by law with respect to the duties of the office of municipal fiscal officer or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly committed any act expressly prohibited by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office

AND

A sworn affidavid submitted to the Auditor of State by a member of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation with allegations against the fiscal officer.

Once the affidavit is submitted:

  • The Auditor of State has at least 30 days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations.
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is no convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to the municipal fiscal officer and the person who submitted the allegations.
      OR
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to both individuals mentioned above as well as the Ohio Attorney General for further review.
  • Upon receipt of the complaint the Attorney General has at least 10 business days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations.
    • If the Attorney General determines there is no convincing evidence, the Attorney General will notify the Auditor of State, municipal fiscal officer, and the person who submitted the allegations via certified mail.
      OR
    • If the Attorney General determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to all individuals mentioned above, and an action for removal of the municipal fiscal officer from office will be initiated.
      • The Attorney General shall act within 45 days to take the case to court to remove the municipal fiscal officer from office
  • The court may issue an order prohibiting the municipal fiscal officer from performing any official duties before or during the court proceedings
  • In the case of a not-guilty verdict, the board of county commissioners is responsible for paying the attorney fees for the municipal fiscal officer.
  • In the case of a guilty verdict, municipal fiscal officer is responsible for reimbursing the board of county commissioners for the attorney fees and costs up to a reasonable amount.

In addition to the removal process, the Fiscal Integrity Act also provides that if a municipal fiscal officer fails to perform the duties of office for 30 consecutive days, except in case of sickness or injury, the office will be deemed vacant.