Theft Leads to Findings for Recovery Issued in Huron County Community Library Audit

Tuesday, January 26, 2021


For Immediate Release:                                                      

January 26, 2021                                                                    


Theft Leads to Findings for Recovery Issued in Huron County Community Library Audit


Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber’s Office released the 2018-2019 financial audit of the Huron County Community Library. The audit included multiple findings for recovery against the former Fiscal Officer Adam Searl.


During his time as Fiscal Officer, Adam Searl made two reimbursements to himself with check #40937 for $1,212.63 on November 21, 2018 and check #40895 for $194.30 on November 7, 2018. Due to deficiencies in internal policies and procedures, no supporting documentation was provided to support the reimbursement for the first check totaling $1,212.63. Check #40895 only had supporting documentation for $145.55 of the $194.30 in expenditures, leaving an unsupported balance of $48.75. Without adequate supporting documentation for these expenditures, auditors could not conclude that these expenditures were for a proper public purpose.


A finding for recovery was issued against Adam Searl and his bonding company, the Cincinnati Insurance Company, for $1,260, in favor of the Huron County Community Library General Fund.  Board of Trustee member Dave Hirschy authorized one of the disbursements resulting in an improper payment making him jointly and severally liable, in the amount of $1,212 to the extent that recovery is not obtained from Mr. Searl. Board of Trustee member Barth Gibson authorized the other disbursement causing her to be jointly and severally liable for $48.


Additionally, Auditors identified 43 Paypal purchases totaling $4,776 transacted by Mr. Searl, that were linked to the Library’s bank account and were not for a proper public purpose. The vendor issued a refund to the Library for the unauthorized payments in the amount of $3,507 resulting in a net amount of $1,269 still owed to the Library.


On January 8, 2020, Mr. Searl was found guilty of Count 1, Theft, a felony of the fifth degree, in the Huron County Court of Common Pleas, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3,683.98 for transactions identified by the Library and prosecuted by the Huron County Court of Common Pleas.


The Library has not received any restitution payments to date.


The State Auditor’s Office also issued a finding for recovery against Mr. Searl, and his bonding company, for $1,269, in favor of Huron County Community Library General Fund.


A full copy of this 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.