Former Clarksville Administrator Cost Village $23,000
Columbus – Illegal utility account adjustments cost the Village of Clarksville (Clinton County) more than $23,000 and put the former village administrator on trial, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Internal controls are the first line of defense against fraud,” Auditor Yost said. “In this case, the village’s weak controls left it vulnerable, and the result is $23,000 in illegal deals – including some for some family and friends.”
From September 2011 through December 2012, former Village Administrator Edward Friend made 30 adjustments to the village’s utility system, which wrote-off $23,605 in water, sewer and sanitation charges to 26 accounts. The adjustments were not approved by the village council or water committee, nor were they reviewed by anyone other than Friend. A finding for recovery has been issued against Friend in the full amount.
Auditors determined that four of the adjusted accounts included two relatives of the former mayor, a former village fiscal officer and a relative of Friend.
Friend was indicted on one count of tampering with records on December 8, 2014.
The village contracts with the Western Water Company for its water supply. The village has a significant outstanding balance with the company, and as of February, 18, 2015 owes $570,613. Clarksville officials have requested assistance from the Auditor of State’s Local Government Services section.
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.