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Law Enforcement Funds Misused in Athens County
Columbus – Funds used for items not related to law enforcement led to more than $5,700 in findings for recovery according to an audit of Athens County released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
The Ohio Revised Code and local policy sets specific limits on what may be purchased with Law Enforcement Trust Fund (LETF) monies. LETF monies shall not be used to meet the operating costs of a county sheriff that are unrelated to law enforcement. During the test of these funds, auditors found five instances where LETF funds were used inappropriately for items such as polo shirts, printed invitations, and meals. These purchases totaled $5,225, and could have been made from Furtherance of Justice funds. A finding for recovery was issued against Sheriff Patrick Kelly in the amount of $5,225 and in favor of the Athens County Law Enforcement Trust Fund.
In addition, the Drug Law Enforcement Fund should only be used to aid law enforcement efforts involving drug offenses. A review of the items purchased with these funds found eight purchases that were inappropriate, including purchasing supplies for a retirement party, a law enforcement party, and bottled water. Findings for recovery were issued against the following individuals:
- $249 against Sheriff Patrick Kelley
- $141 against Fiscal Officer Dawn Deputy
- $121 against Assistant Teresa Kirkendall
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 5,700 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.