Audits Report Public Money Overpaid and Under Billed in Smith Township and Village of Sebring Fire and EMS Contract

Tuesday, January 22, 2019


Columbus – A state audit issued today for Smith Township reports an overpayment of $48,716 from the Township to the Village of Sebring fire and EMS. Additionally, a separate audit issued today for the Village of Sebring reported a finding for recovery of public monies for $110,020 against the Village fire chief James Cannell and Smith Township.  




Smith Township’s Fiscal Officer, Mary Winters, was responsible for approving Township expenditures and disbursement of funds, in conjunction with at least one Township Trustee signing each check.




Cannell, the village fire chief, provided billing and fire run information. He also served as the Fire Inspector for Smith Township.




There were 178 fire runs totaling $111,020 in Smith Township that were withheld from the billing office and not included in Village invoices from January 1, 2008 through March 11, 2015.




Smith Township issued 31 checks to the Village of Sebring from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2015 totaling $241,102. According to the contract between the Township and the Village, these payments resulted in an over payment of $48,716.




Under Ohio law, the fiscal officer and the trustees who signed the checks are strictly liable for the amount of the expenditure. In this case, the following trustees are liable for the following amounts of checks they signed:




Trustee Name Number of Checks Signed Amount of Illegally Expended Monies
Valas Winters 12 $23,024.90
Ralph G Ritchie 20 $37,643.03
David Mannion 17 $27,848.30
Paul Freer 12 $18,179.46

Terry Criss




The chart total exceeds $48,716 as a result of a more than one trustee signing each check.  

A full copy of both reports are available online.

Village of Sebring

Smith Township






Contact: Allie Dumski, Press Secretary 


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 Keith Faber, 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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