Press Release Ohio Auditor of State

Audit Finds City of Vermilion Employee Used Public Funds to Purchase Gasoline for Personal Use

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber today issued the 2018 audit of the City of Vermilion (Erie County), which uncovered that a City Street Department employee, William Nehls, purchased fuel for personal use with city funds.

“It is unacceptable to fill a personal gas tank on the taxpayer’s dime,” Auditor Faber said. “Working with our local government partners, we will continue to root out this kind of abuse to restore trust in government.”

Nehls was a City Street Department employee from January 1, 2016 through July 6, 2018. One of his responsibilities was to make regular purchases of fuel for city vehicles. The audit uncovered that during his employment, the city issued payments totaling $4,714 for fuel purchases made by Nehls outside of his employment hours. 

Following an investigation by the Vermilion police, on September 13, 2018, Nehls was found guilty of misdemeanor attempted theft in Vermilion Municipal Court related to the purchase of gasoline for personal use and paid court-ordered restitution in the amount of $1,684.

Auditor Faber today issued a finding for recovery against Nehls for $3,030 in favor of the City of Vermilion Street Maintenance & Repair fund.

A full copy of this 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. 


Allie Dumski

Press Secretary

(614) -644-1111