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Statement from Auditor of State Dave Yost
Columbus –Auditor of State Dave Yost issues the following statement regarding the sentencing today in the Belmont County Court of Common Pleas of former Bellaire water clerk Lisa Flaherty:
“Congratulations to Prosecutor Berhalter for an effective and efficient prosecution,” Auditor Yost said. “I’m delighted that the court imposed prison time. Theft is always the first priority when it comes to public money.”
In April, Flaherty fled the state following an investigation by the Auditor of State’s Special Investigations Unit into missing funds from the village water department. The SIU worked with Belmont County Prosecutor Christopher Berhalter and Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk to conduct a formal investigation on the allegations. Flaherty was later arrested in Binghamton, New York.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide 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.