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Auditor Faber Declares Union Township “Unauditable”
Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber today declared Union Township (Pike County) “unauditable” after the township failed to submit financial statements essential to complete the audit.
“Without financial records, my office cannot accurately complete our annual audit, and taxpayers are left in the dark as to how government spends their tax dollars,” Auditor Faber said. “I encourage officials to make this fix immediately.”
The township did not submit annual financial records for fiscal years ending December 31, 2017 and December 31, 2018. In communications with the township in the summer of 2019, fiscal officer Jessica Dickerson indicated that she would file financial information by August 25. In a follow up communication, Dickerson said she would complete the filing after the Labor Day holiday.
After auditors contacted township trustee John Moore on September 10, 2019, Moore contacted Dickerson who then told auditors that she had someone working with her to file these reports on September 13.
On September 11, the Auditor’s office had a discussion with Robert Junk, Pike County Prosecutor, to inform him that if the township did not file its financial statements, the Auditor’s office would issue an “unauditable” letter. Junk stated he would reach out to Dickson and Moore to offer assistance.
Again, on September 19, Dickerson indicated she had received updates to their accounting software and would file financial statements “within the next few days.”
To date, the township has not submitted annual financial statements and footnotes for audit. Consequently, the Auditor’s office considers the township “unauditable.”
Within 90 days of receiving the “unauditable” declaration, the township must revise their financial records and provide the data necessary to complete the audit. Failure to bring accounts, records, and reports to an auditable position may result in legal action, including the possibility of the Attorney General issuing a subpoena to village officials to explain the condition of records. The Attorney General may also file suit to compel officials to prepare and/or produce the required information.
The Auditor of State’s Local Government Services section is available to the village to assist in bringing records to an auditable condition. Local Government Services provides a wide variety of services to local governments, including reconstructing financial records and aid in the reconciling of books.
The Auditor’s office removes an entity from the “unauditable” list once the audit in question is complete and released to the public.
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.