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Special Audit Confirms Missing Money in Arlington Heights
Columbus – Two former court clerks are on the hook for more than $260,000 in missing village funds, according to a special audit of the Village of Arlington Heights Mayor’s Court released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“The lack of internal controls in Arlington Heights created an environment ripe for theft,” Auditor Yost said. “This mother/daughter duo took advantage of the situation, and in this case, taxpayers were the victims.”
On February 16, 2010, the Auditor of State’s office received a request from the village to help investigate missing funds from the mayor’s court. Auditors tested a three-month period and found that approximately $24,000 in mayor’s court funds were collected, but not deposited. On November 10, 2010, the Auditor of State’s office initiated a special audit.
The special audit reviewed court receipts for fines, court costs and bonds received from July 1, 2007 through February 19, 2010. Auditors determined that $262,297 was never deposited into the court’s bank account. Findings for recovery in the total amount of $262,297 were issued against former Court Clerk Donna Covert. Her daughter, former Deputy Court Clerk Laura Jarvis, was held jointly and severally liable for $258,345.
During the course of the audit, Covert and Jarvis admitted to taking village funds and putting it into their personal bank accounts. Auditors identified $29,842 and $19,398 of cash deposited into Covert’s and Jarvis’s personal accounts, respectively.
Covert and Jarvis were indicted on charges of theft in office, tampering with records and unauthorized use of property on July 31, 2012. Covert pled guilty to the theft and was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay $260,000 in restitution. Jarvis’ trial date is scheduled for September 16, 2013.
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 5,800 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.