Clark County Bank Account Used to Fund Campaign Committee
Columbus – The Clark County Department of Jobs and Family Services (CCDJFS) transferred $25,000 from an off-book account to a levy campaign, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“The Department of Jobs and Family Services went rogue in Clark County, and not in a good way,” Auditor Yost said. “There should be a high, impenetrable wall between public money and politics.”
Auditors identified that the department maintained a checking and savings account outside of the county treasury. In August 2010, CCDJFS transferred $25,000 from the checking account to a levy campaign committee called Making Life Better for Kids Committee. Ohio Revised Code section §9.03 prohibits the use of public money for political purposes.
Accounting for a $745 repayment, a finding for recovery has been issued against the Making Life Better for Kids Committee in the amount of $24,255. Ohio law holds public officials accountable for illegal expenditures. Therefore, former Director Robert Suver and former Fiscal Officer Jean Chepp, are held equally and severally liable for the full amount.
The county recently terminated both bank accounts and deposited the remaining funds with the county treasurer.
These findings will be referred to the Clark County prosecutor.
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.