Special Audit: Taxpayers Covered Travel Costs for Spouses
Columbus – A treasurer and six board members at the Educational Service Center (ESC) of Central Ohio racked up more than $9,200 in spouse-related travel costs on ESC credit cards, according to a special audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“It’s not surprising to see these findings in an environment where Bart Anderson could spend a half million dollars on travel,” Auditor Yost said. “I’m glad to see the ESC has since tightened up its travel policies to prevent this kind of misspending from happening in the future.”
On March 18, 2013, the Auditor of State’s office initiated a special audit of the ESC related to travel expenses made by Former Superintendent Bart Anderson. The special audit report was released on August 27, 2014, and included findings for recovery totaling $96,510 against Anderson. In September 2014, allegations surfaced claiming that the ESC paid travel expenses for spouses of ESC governing board members. The Auditor of State’s Special Audit Task Force considered this information and initiated a second special audit on September 10, 2014, covering the period July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2014.
The special audit identified 67 transactions totaling $9,283 in which spouse-related travel expenditures were paid using ESC credit cards. Of this amount, $3,830 was repaid prior to the start of the audit. Findings for recovery in the total amount of $5,453 were issued against six board members and a treasurer. The individuals repaid the full amounts of the findings during the course of the audit.
In addition, the audit determined that Former Superintendent Bart Anderson was reimbursed by the ESC for alcohol purchases totaling $269. Anderson also made alcohol purchases totaling $123 on ESC credit cards that were not examined in the special audit report released on August 27, 2014. A finding for recovery in the amount of $392 was issued against Anderson. He repaid the full amount to the ESC during the course of the audit.
A full copy of this special 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.