Findings Issued in Newton Township Audit

Thursday, December 31, 2020


For Immediate Release:                                                      

December 29, 2020                                                                


Findings Issued in Newton Township Audit


Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber’s Office released the 2018-2019 financial audit of Newton Township in Pike County. The audit included multiple findings including two findings for recovery (repaid) and a finding for adjustment against their General Fund.


A finding for adjustment is issued when an audited entity has posted receipts to a fund having no authority to receive them, or has disbursed amounts not authorized from one fund but permissible from another.


The Township contracted with a CPA firm to perform the 2015-2014 and 2017-2016 audits of the Township’s financial statements. During the course of performing the audits, the CPA firm found that rollbacks were not distributed properly to the appropriate funds and amounts posted to the payroll system for Trustees were not in the percentages certified on the payroll certifications. Due to these audit adjustments reducing the General Fund balance, the Township Fiscal Officer only made a portion of the adjustments to the State Auditor’s Uniform Accounting Network accounting system (UAN).  Auditors issued a finding for adjustment at December 31, 2017 in the amount of $24,382 against the General Fund and in favor of the Motor Vehicle License Fund $436, Gasoline Tax Fund $9,651, Fire District Fund $7,456, Cemetery Fund $3,895, and the Road and Bridge fund $2,944 as of December 31, 2017.


During the 2019-2018 audit, the Township repaid part of the prior finding for adjustment through current audit adjustments. The remaining balance for the finding for adjustment is $13,267 from the General Fund in favor of the Gasoline Tax Fund for $9,651, Road and Bridge Fund for $466, Cemetery Fund for $818, and Fire District Fund for $2,332.


Additionally, the Fiscal Officer and Trustees were overpaid, resulting in a finding for recovery.


Newton Township’s budget in 2019 allowed for the Fiscal Officer to be paid $14,039. The Township’s Fiscal Officer, Jamie Wooldridge, mistakenly used the incorrect amount when calculating her salary and, consequently, received compensation in the amount of $15,597 in 2019 resulting in an overpayment of $1,558.


A finding for recovery was issued, but upon discovery, Ms. Wooldridge made repayment in full to the Township in cash on August 21, 2020.


Similarly, the Township’s budget in 2019 allocated $9,360 for the Trustees to be paid $46.80 for 200 days, annually. The Fiscal Officer again mistakenly used the incorrect amount when calculating the Trustees’ salary. Thus, Trustees Marty Moore, Michael Wickline, and Kelly Grooms received compensation in the amount of $9,926 in 2019 resulting in an overpayment of $566 each, resulting in a finding for recovery.


Marty Moore made repayment in full to the Township in cash on August 19, 2020, Michael Wickline on August 21, 2020, and Kelly Grooms on August 21, 2020.


Other findings included:

  • Material weakness due to deficiencies in the Township’s financial statement monitoring and review process in the accounting system;
  • Noncompliance for failure to maintain proof of collateral for deposits above insurance limits;
  • Noncompliance in regard to their appropriations exceeding the amount certified as available by the budget commission in the General Fund; and
  • Material weakness because the Township did not have procedures in place to accurately post authorized budgetary measures to the accounting system.


Besides repaying the findings for recovery under audit, the Township had no response to the other findings.


A full copy of this audit 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.