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Litchfield Township Audit Finds Improper Pension “Pick-Ups”
Columbus – Litchfield Township (Medina County) paid for trustee and fiscal officer retirement contributions that should have been paid for by the officials themselves according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. The officials have taken steps to pay the amounts owed.
Per Ohio Revised Code Sections 505.24 and 505.09, compensation of township trustees and township fiscal officers is based on the annual budget of the township. Based on the code, the trustees’ salaries should have been $11,318 annually and the fiscal officer’s salary should have been $19,806 annually.
Litchfield Township “picked-up” the required employee/elected officials contributions to the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System for the township trustees and fiscal officer. According to an attorney general opinion, elected officers, whose salaries are fixed by statute, are not permitted to participate in an OPERS “pick-up” plan.
For fiscal years 2010, 2011 and 2012, the following total OPERS contribution amounts were paid by Litchfield Township:
- Township Trustee Nancy Wargo: $2,733
- Township Trustee Michael Pope: $2,733
- Township Trustee Dennis Horvath: $2,733
- Township Fiscal Officer Pam Shaw: $4,785
Upon notification of the error, all of the officials entered into “repayment agreements” or have already repaid the amounts.
A full copy of this audit may be accessed online.
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.