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Former Employee Owes More Than $10K to Paulding Soil and Water Conservation District
Columbus – A former program administrator charged with theft in office owes more than $10,000 to the Paulding County Soil and Water Conservation District, state auditors found.
The district’s financial audit released today issues findings for recovery against Coral Fetzer, ordering her to repay $9,984 for missing revenue and $765 for improper reimbursements she received.
Fetzer was indicted in October on charges of theft in office and tampering with records following an investigation by Auditor of State Dave Yost’s Public Integrity Assurance Team.
The audit identified a shortage of $9,984 from customer payments that Fetzer collected from January 2012 through March 2016, when she was fired. Auditors said she failed to issue receipts for some of the payments, which were for rentals and product sales, and she did not submit the funds for deposit into the district’s bank account.
“A stronger system of internal controls could have detected these revenue shortages years ago,” Auditor Yost said. “The district needs to beef up its oversight with additional preventative measures to guard against future losses.”
District officials said in a response to the audit that they now require multiple employees to share revenue collection duties, reducing the chances for a theft to occur.
Auditors also reported a lack of supporting documentation for reimbursements of $765 paid to Fetzer, allegedly for website hosting and printing expenses. Without the necessary records, auditors could not determine whether the reimbursements were proper.
The report names former Board of Supervisors member Keith Wiesehan and current member Gary Derck jointly liable for $397 and $368, respectively, because they authorized the reimbursements.
A special report published by Auditor Yost in November 2017 highlights the dangers local governments face when financial processes go unchecked. According to the report, more than $3.4 million in payments received by local governments in the past decade never made it into the government accounts.
A full copy of the district’s audit 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 6,000 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.