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Village of Philo Officials, Employees Received Unsupported Payments
Columbus – Village of Philo (Muskingum County) officials and employees received more than $4,700 in payments that lacked sufficient supporting documentation or village council approval, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
The village’s mayor, former clerk-treasurer and two other employees received the payments in addition to their regular compensation during fiscal years 2013 and 2014. Several of the disbursements lacked any supporting documentation or information describing the nature of the transactions. Others were simply labeled for “phone” or “trapping animals.”
“I’m at a loss for words – and apparently this clerk-treasurer was too,” Auditor Yost said. “One or two words won’t cut it when it comes to documenting how the taxpayers’ dollars are spent.”
Some supporting documentation that the village did provide to auditors was altered and included handwritten dates. Two payments also were excluded from the village’s list of approved bills.
Without sufficient supporting documentation or evidence that the village council authorized the payments, auditors could not determine if any of the expenditures were for a proper public purpose.
The audit also discovered that former Clerk-Treasurer Sam Hutcheson was overpaid $80 during the two-year period. Hutcheson should have earned a quarterly net pay of $623, but actually received $633 each quarter.
Findings for recovery in the amounts of $2,540, $1,136, $600 and $520 were issued against Hutcheson, Mayor Lloyd Miller, Water Clerk Tammy Blake and village employee Eric Fesler, respectively, for a total of $4,796.
Hutcheson is jointly and severally liable for $2,256 because he processed the improper payments made to Miller, Blake and Fesler.
A full copy of this report is available 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.
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