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Audit of Cincinnati Identifies Over $17,500 in Overpayments
Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber today released the 2019 audit of the City of Cincinnati, which issues a $17,582 finding for recovery for overpayments against three members of the Cincinnati Police Department.
“Misrepresenting timesheets for personal gain is completely unacceptable, especially for law enforcement officials paid by taxpayers,” Auditor Faber said. “I commend the city’s recent enhanced internal audit team for helping uncover this abuse; the city must continue to identify issues like these that unnecessarily allow a few bad apples to reflect negatively on the majority of hard working city employees.”
An internal investigation by the city found that the city paid Brian Coates, Lakisha Gross, and Darren Sellers for the following hours, which they never worked:
·Between January 19, 2017, and January 19, 2018, the city paid Police Sergeant Brian Coates $6,734 for 22 days in which he was absent from work and did not use available leave.
·Between May 5, 2018 and April 6, 2019, the city paid Police Sergeant Lakisha Gross $8,692 for 215.48 hours over 54 days that she arrived to work late or left work early but did not use available leave time.
·Between May 5, 2018 and March 5, 2019, the city paid Police Officer Darren Sellers $2,156 for 62.2 hours over 19 days where he arrived late for work but did not use available leave.
In a settlement agreement with Gross upon her return to work on May 17, 2020, she will repay the city $8,692 via payroll deduction from her bi-weekly paycheck, spread evenly over 39 pay periods. The city is currently negotiating a settlement agreement for full repayment with Brian Coates’s attorney and has sent a letter to Darren Sellers demanding full repayment.
A full copy of the City of Cincinnati audit 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.