Fiscal Officer Failed to Pay Fire District Employee Taxes

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Columbus – The former fiscal officer of the Clinton-Highland Joint Fire District (Clinton County) failed to remit withheld federal income taxes which resulted in late fees and penalties totaling $22,559, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost. 

Because the fees and penalties do not constitute a public purpose, findings for recovery were issued against Sidney Clay in the amount of $22,559. During the 2009-16 period, Clay properly withheld income taxes due to the City of Wilmington, the State of Ohio and the Internal Revenue Service but never forwarded those taxes as required by law. 

“This is normally a fairly simple process: A fiscal officer withholds funds as required by law and remits them to the appropriate taxing authorities,” Auditor Yost said. “This involves Step 1 and Step 2. Taking the first step but failing to take the second does not get the job done, and puts taxpayers on the hook for penalties.”

The withheld taxes have been remitted to the governments as required.

“This was sloppy, and taxpayers deserve better,” Yost said. “Leaders within the district need to establish better internal controls to end this perennial problem.”

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.

Beth Gianforcaro
Press Secretary