Lack of Corrective Action Leads to Another $2,210 in Unsupported Payments at the Village of Philo
Columbus – A state audit of the Village of Philo (Muskingum County) found five officials and employees received $2,210 in payments that lacked supporting documentation or approval from village council.
The audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost discovered that the village’s mayor and clerk-treasurer, among others, received the payments in addition to their regular compensation during 2015 and 2016.
The village’s previous audit covering 2013 and 2014 flagged similar improper payments to four of the same individuals.
As was the case in the previous audit, the only documented explanations for the payments during 2015 and 2016 were labels that read, “Phone,” “Internet,” and “Trapping Animals.”
“It astounds me that village officials did not take appropriate action to remedy these improper payments after the last audit,” Auditor Yost said. “Philo’s officials are coming up short on their duty to remain accountable to taxpayers.”
Without complete documentation, auditors could not determine whether the payments served a proper public purpose.
Auditors issued $2,210 in findings for recovery, due to the village, against the individuals listed below:
- Mayor Lloyd Miller: $710
- Clerk-Treasurer Sam Hutcheson: $710
- Water Clerk Tammy Blake: $375
- Water Superintendent Robert Pletcher: $355
- Employee Eric Fesler: $60
With the exception of Blake, all of the officials and employees have repaid their findings. Hutcheson is jointly liable for the remaining $375 owed by Blake because he processed the improper payments.
In a response to the audit findings, the village indicated that it has taken steps to eliminate future improper payments.
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.