Taylor Releases Canton Township Audit

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Stark County -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor released the audit of Canton Township for fiscal years 2002 and 2003 today. The audit reveals several instances of financial mismanagement and bad bookkeeping. Additionally, township officials were unable to locate many financial documents causing a significant delay in the audit process.

“Missing or inaccurate financial information makes it difficult to determine that money was spent legally and appropriately,” Taylor said. “Making the changes and improvements recommended in the audit report will improve accountability and reduce the potential for fraud or theft of taxpayer dollars. Township officials have outlined a plan to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future and their actions should be commended.”

Taylor notes that township officials contracted with an outside consultant to correct numerous accounting errors and provide accurate financial statements necessary to complete the audit. Missing documents needed to conduct the township’s audit included:

  • All documentation identifying the source of money the township received
  • Documentation showing how certain funds were spent
  • Copies of several canceled checks
  • Missing purchase orders and other invoices
  • The township’s tax budget for all of 2002

Most of the findings identify the township’s former fiscal officer as the source of the financial irregularities. All of the findings include a corrective action plan provided by the township’s new fiscal officer identifying steps the township is taking to prevent similar audit findings in the future.

The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation.  The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364).

A full copy of the audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.