Press Release Ohio Auditor of State

Credit Card Abuse Leads to Finding for Recovery in Ashtabula Metropolitan Housing Authority Audit

Thursday, May 13, 2021


Public Affairs

Contact: Allie Dumski

Press Secretary






For Immediate Release:                                                      

May 13, 2021                                                            


Credit Card Abuse Leads to Finding for Recovery in Ashtabula Metropolitan Housing Authority Audit


Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber’s Office released the 2019 financial audit of the Ashtabula Metropolitan Housing Authority. The audit included a finding for recovery as a result of credit card misuse identified as part of a special audit and investigation conducted by the Special Investigations Unit.


“Credit cards are a necessary part of conducting business today, however credit card abuse can be problematic without checks and balances on their usage,” said Auditor Faber.


During the period of review which covered July 1, 2014 through December 31, 2017, auditors identified 84 purchases totaling $21,483, transacted by former Executive Director, James Noyes which were not for a proper public purpose in accordance with the credit card policy.


Mr. Noyes was the Executive Director responsible for overseeing the daily fiscal operations of the Authority, including oversight of all credit card expenditures. There was no independent review over requisitions and expenditures, including review by the Director of Operations specified in the Authority’s policy. The accounting department would ensure the information on the requisition agreed to the credit card bills prior to making the payment, but there was no indication that the credit card bills were reviewed for compliance with the credit card policy.


On January 6, 2021, Mr. Noyes pled guilty in the Ashtabula County Court of Common Pleas to one count of Attempted Theft in Office, and one count of Falsification in a Theft Offense, both felonies of the fourth degree. He was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $20,879. The court received full restitution via check on behalf of the Authority in the amount of $20,879 on January 6, 2021.


A finding for recovery was issued against James Noyes for the remaining unpaid amount of $604, in favor of Ashtabula Metropolitan Housing Authority’s General Fund. On March 8, 2021, the Authority received payment in full from Mr. Noyes.



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.