Audit: $31,000 Stolen by Sheriff’s Lieutenant
$10,000 Still Owed to Taxpayers after Court Restitution
Columbus – Surveillance video helped establish several counts of theft in office against a Coshocton County Sheriff’s lieutenant, James MacDonald, who was sentenced in January to six months in jail. The findings, including an unreimbursed amount of $10,000 in stolen funds, were reported in a special audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Stealing from the taxpayers is about as bad as it gets—until you see a sworn law enforcement officer doing it,” Yost said. “The credit goes to Sheriff Rogers, who discovered the crime and did good work bringing the theft to light.”
Accounting discrepancies led the sheriff’s office to put its cash register under surveillance, and MacDonald was observed six times taking cash from the register. An investigation of receipts found shortages amounting to $31,290 from collections for WebCheck background checks, eSORN registration fees for sex offenders, and fees for concealed carry permits. Court-ordered restitution of $21,137 was made, leaving a balance of $10,153 owed to Coshocton County taxpayers.
The audit also found that MacDonald improperly wrote two checks totaling $1,532 from an account used to hold personal funds for inmates of the county jail, resulting in an additional finding for recovery.
A full copy of this audit can be found 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.