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Darke County Village Misspent Thousands of Public Funds on Contest Prizes
Columbus – The Village of Wayne Lakes misspent thousands of tax dollars on a golf cart, kayak and other prizes that it gave to citizens during 2015 and 2016, according to a state audit released today.
“These officials were elected to run a government – not a game show,” Auditor Yost said. “Their use of tax dollars to pay for contest prizes is both wasteful and illegal.”
The report names former fiscal officer Tammy Barger responsible for a dozen improper payments totaling $4,210, most of which did not serve a proper public purpose. Auditors ordered her to repay those funds to the Darke County village because she authorized the spending.
The purchases included a $3,500 golf cart and a $220 kayak paid for with money from the general fund and raffled off to benefit the village. Another $187 covered the costs of a permit for the golf cart and raffle tickets for the fundraisers.
Auditors also questioned a $500 withdrawal by the previous mayor for prize money that was intended for a fishing tournament in 2015. The expense, which did not serve a proper public purpose, was later repaid by the mayor.
In 2016, the village paid $400 to a painting instructor to provide entertainment at a fundraising party supporting the village’s beach. The spending was deemed improper because village council never approved the event. However, the proceeds from the fundraiser offset the payment.
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.