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Former East Cleveland Public Library Fiscal Officer Owes $11,300
Columbus – Overpayments to a former fiscal officer led to $11,317 in findings for recovery in an audit of the East Cleveland Public Library (Cuyahoga County) released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Fiscal officers are entrusted with the public purse strings,” Auditor Yost said. “That trust includes understanding the rules and following them to a T.”
According to library policy passed by the board of trustees, “unused sick leave benefits will not be paid to employees while they are employed or upon termination.” Auditors determined that the library’s formal fiscal officer, Charlene Hollowell, was improperly paid $6,761 for 240 hours of sick leave and $984 for the pension deduction that was applied to her sick leave conversion.
Hollowell also was overpaid an additional $1,127 for 40 hours of vacation time she was not entitled to and $337 when she received a check for the pension deduction that was applied to her vacation conversion. The library’s policies require dual signatures on all checks, but Hollowell’s was the only signature on both checks for the pension deductions.
In addition, no documentation was provided for a $981 check written to Hollowell on September 19, 2014, which again lacked a dual signature. As a result, auditors could not determine whether the expenditure was for a proper public purpose.
On September 13, 2014, the library’s board of trustees passed a resolution suspending Hollowell without pay for five days. However, proper payroll override procedures were not performed and she was compensated a total of 80 hours instead of 40, resulting in an overpayment of $1,127.
Findings for recovery were issued against Hollowell in the total amount of $11,317. These findings for recovery have been forwarded to the city prosecutor.
A full copy of this report 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.