Fiscal Officer Failed to Pay Township Employee Taxes
Columbus – Xenia Township’s (Greene County) fiscal officer failed to pay withheld income taxes and pension contributions, which resulted in more than $51,000 in late fees and penalties, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“This is a double hit for Xenia Township’s taxpayers,” Auditor Yost said. “Not only did the fiscal officer not do her basic job duties, she put the taxpayers on the hook for it.”
In 2012 and 2013, Fiscal Officer Barbara Miller and former Fiscal Officer John Faulkner withheld the required federal income tax, Medicare, FICA, state income tax, local income tax, school district income tax, PERS, and OP&F fund contributions from each employee of the township. However, both fiscal officers failed to submit funds to the appropriate entity, agency, system or fund.
The failure to remit the funds resulted in penalties and late charges against the township from the federal government for 2012 and 2013 in the amount of $45,395. At this time, the total amount in penalties assessed by the state to Xenia Township is $787. PERS assessed late fees for 2012, 2013 and 2014 in the amount of $2,259, and OP&F assessed $3,112 in late penalties for 2012 and 2013. The late fees could have been avoided had the funds been submitted properly, therefore findings for recovery are issued against Barbara Miller in the amount of $51,302 and John Faulkner in the amount of $251.
In addition, Nina Reed was hired as the assistant to the fiscal officer in 2013. Reed is the wife of Jim Reed, who served as a township trustee in 2013. Jim Reed voted to approve the salary of Nina Reed but should have fully disclosed any conflicts and abstained from making decisions that may be viewed as a conflict of interest. The issue has been referred to the Ohio Ethics Commission.
A full copy of this audit can be found 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.