Goshen Township officials accepted in-term pay increases
Columbus – A Goshen Township (Tuscarawas County) trustee and former fiscal officer violated state law by accepting in-term pay increases through a health benefits program, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
The township adopted a resolution on Dec. 16, 2014 approving payment of $2,600 to health savings accounts for those who choose a plan that saves the township at least $1,000 per person annually.
Trustee Joseph Ginnetti and former Fiscal Officer Jenifer Ress participated in the health savings account plan during 2015, although their terms in office began before the township adopted the resolution, in January 2014 and April 2012, respectively.
“In-term pay increases are a violation of state law,” Auditor Yost said. “This includes an elected official’s participation in a health program authorized by a board of trustees after the start of his or her term.”
The township paid $2,600 into both Ginnetti’s and Ress’ health savings accounts on Jan. 8, 2015. Ress was paid an additional $650 on Dec. 29, 2015 after the township switched to quarterly payments.
Findings for recovery in the amounts of $2,600 and $3,250 were issued against Ginnetti and Ress, respectively. Ginnetti repaid $2,600 to the township on Dec. 27, 2016.
A full copy of this report is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.