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Harrison County audit issues findings for stolen petty cash
Columbus – A former Harrison County deputy auditor who in September pleaded guilty to theft in office owes the county $7,690, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
State auditors determined that $21,410 went missing from a petty cash fund in the Harrison County Auditor’s office from May 2008 through September 2014. The fund, which contained customer payments for copy fees, was stored in a metal box referred to as “the tin” within an open safe.
Deputy Auditor Judy Heath was responsible for the fund but admitted reconciliations were not completed and controls were not in place for the cash. Duplicate receipts were issued to customers only upon request and purchases of office supplies allegedly made with the fund were not recorded or supported by documentation.
Heath provided a written statement in April 2016 admitting to stealing some money from the fund. On Sept. 28, 2016, Heath entered a negotiated plea of guilty to one count of theft in office for stealing $7,690. The amount was based on cash deposits made to her personal account from 2013 through 2014.
A $7,690 finding for recovery was issued against Heath. Harrison County Auditor Patrick Moore and his bonding company, Old Republic Surety Company, are jointly and severally liable for the remaining $13,720 missing from the fund.
“Elected officials are responsible for ensuring proper controls are in place to safeguard public funds,” Auditor Yost said. “In this case, the county auditor has to bear the remaining cost of the missing funds because the appropriate controls did not exist.”
On Oct. 25, 2016, Heath was sentenced to 30 days in jail and 60 days of house arrest, in addition to five years of probation and 80 hours of community service. She also was ordered to return the stolen money and pay $1,660 in audit costs. Stephanie Anderson of the Auditor of State’s office served as special prosecutor for the case.
A full copy of this report is available online.
Click here for more information about petty cash funds.
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.
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