Auditor Faber Finds Village Utility Clerk Owes Over $6,000
Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber today released an audit that issued a $6,787 finding for recovery against Cynthia Barnhill, the former Village of Williamsport (Pickaway County) utility clerk.
“My office will not tolerate any public corruption,” Auditor Faber said. “We have issued a finding for recovery to insure this former clerk repays the full amount she stole.”
Barnhill was responsible for collecting monthly utility payments and new renter deposits, issuing carbon copy receipts, and depositing funds into the village bank account. Barnhill was also responsible for posting utility payments to customer accounts.
Auditors uncovered that from January 2012 through October 2015, applications for 21 new renter accounts indicated that Barnhill collected $5,460 for sewer, water, and gas utility deposits. Based on the utilities at the renters’ addresses, Barnhill should have collected $6,200. Also, Barnhill only deposited $1,156 into the village account after these payments, resulting in a total shortage of $5,044.
Additionally, Barnhill recorded 24 payments to her personal village utility account, but there were no deposits of funds to match these payments. The total amount of recorded payments by the clerk without a matching deposit was 1,743.
On December 14, 2018, Barnhill pled guilty to one count of Theft in Office. At the sentencing hearing, the judge ordered her to repay the village $6,787.
The village has since received five $100 payments from the Pickaway County Court of Common Pleas Adult Probation Department. The Auditor’s office considers these partial repayments and a balance of $6,287 remains.
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.