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Island Township Misuses Public Dollars for Boxers, Bar Stool and Bowls
$10,635 in Findings for Recovery Issued
Boxer shorts, a bar stool, and bowls were some of the purchases made by the former fiscal officer of Catawba Island Township that contributed to $10,635 in findings for recovery issued in the 2009-2010 audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“What possible public purpose could there be in the purchase of boxer shorts?” Auditor Yost said. “The lack of documentation raises questions about these transactions. Catawba Island needs to make changes to reassure their community that they are receiving the most efficient and effective government for their tax dollars.”
Former Fiscal Officer Patricia Cerny used the township’s Wal-Mart account to purchase $164 in men’s boxer briefs, bowls, hangers, a bar stool and other items. No evidence was found to prove that these purchases were for public purpose, and Cerny was issued findings for recovery in the amount of $164 for these items. To date, the township has not been reimbursed for the purchases.
Cerny also paid Bassett’s Hardware, Gordon Lumber, the United States Postal Service and other vendors $2,176 during the two-year period and provided no supporting documentation. In addition, Cerny paid herself and took out cash for a total of $8,295. Notes on the check stubs indicated that some of these payments were for township firemen’s salary and mileage reimbursements. However, there is no documentation to reflect this. Supporting documentation allows auditors to verify that money spent by an entity is for proper public purpose.
All of the findings for recovery were turned over to the Ottawa County prosecutor.
Catawba Island Township, located in Ottawa County with a population of 3,599 (2010 census), received $1,216,573 in general fund revenue in 2010.
Full copies of these audits can be found online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 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.