Property Owner Improperly Bills Ohio University, Owes School Over $20k

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Columbus – An audit report released today issues a finding for recovery for $20,449 against John A. Wharton for improperly billing Ohio University (Athens County) for improvements to his personal property.

In March 2015, the university signed a lease agreement with Wharton to use a house and its adjoining land as residence for the university’s President. The lease agreement stipulated that Wharton could bill the university for maintenance and repair expenses that were requested by the university.

During the course of the lease, the university made various payments to Wharton for maintenance and repair expenses it did not request, such as a deck replacement, sod replacement, several property owner related expenses, and a duplicate payment for lawn care supplies and services.

“We must be diligent in ensuring that contracts and lease agreements that involve taxpayer dollars leave no room for exploitation or abuse,” Auditor Keith Faber said. “My staff works hard to identify these problems and protect Ohio taxpayers.”

A statement in response to the finding by Wharton’s attorney has indicated that Wharton disagrees with the finding and instead claims that Ohio University still owes him almost $20,000.

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 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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