Lincoln Heights covered police officer’s payments months after he stepped down

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Columbus – The Village of Lincoln Heights (Hamilton County) made $1,330 in child support and legal payments on behalf of a police officer who was no longer employed by the village, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.  

The village covered child support and other court-issued payments for former Officer Antwan Sparks and deducted the amounts from his pay. Sparks left his position in December 2013, but the village did not tell its payroll processor to stop the payments. As a result, the payments continued up until April 18, 2014. 

“Financially-strapped governments can’t afford these kinds of costly mistakes,” Auditor Yost said. “The village needs a better system of internal controls to filter out errors before tax dollars are wasted.”

A $1,330 finding for recovery was issued against Sparks. Carnell Matthews, the village’s income tax administrator, is jointly and severally liable in the full amount because she approved the processing of payroll that resulted in the improper payments. 

The Auditor of State’s office reviewed the village’s finances this past April to determine if fiscal distress conditions were present. Auditors concluded the village did not meet the standards to be placed in a fiscal distress status.

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 5,900 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.

Dominic Binkley
Public Information Officer