Brimfield Township Continues to Overpay Trustees
Columbus – Brimfield Township (Portage County) Trustees Charles Spraque and Susan Fields were overcompensated for a second time, according to a 2012 financial audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Apparently, Brimfield Township didn’t get the message from the last audit,” Auditor Yost said. “Trustees cannot be paid more than Ohio law permits.”
The audit reviewed township payroll records, which revealed both Spraque and Fields were paid $15,927 in 2012. Based on budget amounts approved by the County Budget Commission and in accordance with state law, the maximum salary of Brimfield trustees in 2012 was $14,784, creating overpayments of $1,143, respectively.
The additional compensation received by both Spraque and Fields is comprised of $1,095 in inappropriate payments for hospitalization plans that they turned down. A review of the April 24, 2012 budget amendment found $48 salary overpayments as well.
According to state law, since the salary of a trustee is set by statute, receiving payment in-lieu of an allowable fringe benefit constitutes an increase in compensation, contrary to the maximum salary permitted. Due to these facts, two findings for recovery have been issued in the amount of $1,143; one against Charles Spraque and one against Susan Fields.
During the 2010-11 financial audit of Brimfield Township, findings for recovery were issued against Spraque and Fields in the amounts of $1,179 and $1,199, respectively, for the same issue. Spraque repaid his 2010-11 finding; Fields’ 2010-11 finding is still outstanding.
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.