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Finding for Recovery of $154,399 Issued Against Former Marion City Auditor Over IRS Late Fees and Penalties
For Immediate Release
Contact: Marc Kovac
Columbus – Findings for recovery of $154,399 were issued Thursday against the former Marion City Auditor, following a failure to properly remit income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service, Auditor of State Keith Faber announced.
The issue was one of several identified in an audit of the city’s financial records for Jan. 1, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020.
Robert Landon III was elected City Auditor and began his term in January 2020 but resigned in October 2021.
State auditors determined, during his time in office, Landon withheld, as required, income taxes from city employee earnings. However, beginning in June 2020, those withholdings were erroneously remitted to the State of Ohio rather than the IRS, as required.
Due to a multitude of factors, including not reconciling bank statements, the error was not identified until January 2021 and resulted in $154,399 in late fee penalties and interest, which were paid by the city after Landon’s departure.
According to state auditors, “These incurred costs were unnecessary expenditures that did not serve a proper public purpose.”
The finding for recovery was issued against Landon and his bonding company and in favor of the city’s general fund. State auditors also recommended the city “improve its internal control procedures over withholding remittances and related procedures to help ensure errors are identified in a timely manner.”
Among other issues identified in the City of Marion Audit, an additional finding for recovery of $22,500 was issued against a former city auditor for penalties that resulted from late filings of information returns (W-2s and 1099s) to the IRS in 2019 after her departure.
Thursday’s report includes a Corrective Action Plan outlining steps the City of Marion is taking to address issued identified by state auditors.
The full report is available on the AOS website using Audit Search.
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.