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Auditor Faber Announces $28,000-plus in Additional Findings for Recovery Against Former Pike County CVB Director
Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber issued more than $28,000 in additional findings for recovery Tuesday against the former executive director of the Pike County Convention and Visitors Bureau, after a review of finances uncovered further improper spending.
State auditors identified discrepancies and deficiencies in a total of 18 different areas during their most recent audit, which covered the bureau’s financial activities in 2017 and ’18. The list included insufficient monitoring of transactions, unpaid taxes, and missing annual financial statements.
“Checks and balances are critical components to an accountable and trustworthy government,” said Auditor Faber. “It is clear that the Pike County CVB failed to acknowledge the responsibility they have to taxpayers and need to make adjustments to their policies.”
In January 2019, the Auditor of State’s Office issued $85,390 in findings for recovery against former Pike County CVB Executive Director Sharon Manson for undocumented purchases she made using the bureau’s credit card and checking account from 2013-16. An additional $15,000-plus in findings for recovery were issued against two of the bureau’s trustees, who signed some of the checks without proof that the spending was proper.
In its latest report, the Auditor of State’s Office found other questionable expenditures by Manson, including $20,455 in reimbursements, electronic transfers, withdrawals, and other transactions without documentation and $7,596 in improper purchases, cash advances, interest and late fees on the bureau’s credit card.
Additionally, the Auditor of State issued total findings for recovery of $365 against two women who were overpaid for office help they provided to the bureau.
None of the funds have yet been repaid, nor have the issues identified been fully corrected, state auditors noted. Separately, the Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit is continuing its investigation into the Pike County CVB.
In July 2020, the Pike County Board of Commissioners redirected tax revenues that formerly funded the convention and visitors bureau to the Pike County Chamber of Commerce, citing financial mismanagement outlined by the Auditor of State. In November, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the Commissioners’ decision to withdraw public funding of the Pike County CVB.
The full report is available on the AOS website using Audit Search.
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 Keith Faber, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies, and promotes transparency in government.
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 Keith Faber, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies, and promotes transparency in government.