Audit: Sheriff’s Office Employees Should Have Paid for Own Meal Expenses
Columbus – Employees of the Portage County Sheriff’s Office spent $1,516 of the county’s funds at restaurants instead of eating pre-paid food that was already provided at training seminars during 2017.
The bulk of the amount – $1,366 – was spent by two employees during a two-week training course in Madison County. Credit card charges show the pair dined at 11 different restaurants, including The Cheesecake Factory, Red Lobster and LongHorn Steakhouse.
The policies of the sheriff’s office require employees to cover their own meal expenses if they decline food that is already provided. The county’s audit report released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost names seven additional employees responsible for the remaining $150 in purchases.
“Nobody says you have to eat the meals provided by conference organizers,” Auditor Yost said. “But public employees who choose to dine elsewhere cannot send the extra bill to taxpayers.”
All of the expenses were charged to a county credit card issued to the sheriff’s office for training and travel expenses.
The report also notes that a tenth employee who attended a conference where food was not provided exceeded the per diem rate for meals by $4.
In total, auditors issued $1,520 in findings for recovery against the ten employees. Sheriff David Doak, who was jointly liable for the spending, repaid the full amount to the county this past month.
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 6,000 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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