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Convention and Visitors Bureau Audit Identifies $6,515 in Misspent Funds
Columbus – More than $6,500 in improper spending, including double travel-reimbursements, by the former director of the Ross-Chillicothe Convention and Visitors Bureau (Ross County) was identified in an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“You take almost $2,000 in ineligible gas purchases and nearly $4,000 in undocumented credit card spending, and it adds up to a problem,” Auditor Yost said. “You can ask the taxpayers to buy a plane ticket or you can ask the taxpayers to reimburse your driving miles—but you can’t do both on the same trip.”
A finding for recovery totaling $6,515 was issued against Kyrsten Walton, who repaid the amount to the bureau in October. Walton used the bureau credit card for travel expenses, supplies and merchandise, but either did not provide required receipts or used the card while also receiving additional reimbursement for the same expenditure, contrary to bureau policy.
The finding included $3,700 for undocumented travel-related items and $1,819 in ineligible and duplicative credit card expenditures for fuel for a personal vehicle. The remaining $996 was disallowed as purchases of alcohol or as invalid mileage reimbursement when travel had been made by airplane or rental car charged to the bureau credit card.
The audit finding will be referred to the county prosecutor.
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.