Taylor Releases Village of Higginsport Audit

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Brown County -

Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the audit of the village of Higginsport for fiscal years 2005 and 2006. The audit reveals that the former mayor owes more than $2,000 back to the village because of incorrect fines charged in the mayor’s court. Additional record-keeping issues continue to persist, resulting in significant audit delays.

“Improper record keeping and lax financial oversight continue to trouble the village,” Taylor said. “I encourage officials to review and implement the recommendations outlined in this report in an effort to reduce the potential of fraud, waste or abuse of public tax dollars.”

The report indicates that changes to state law in 2003 increased mayor’s court costs for a certain violation from $11 to $15. The former village mayor, James M. Adams, was apparently unaware of the change and failed to charge the correct amount. According to the report, Adams now owes the village $2,024.

Taylor declared the village “unauditable” on June 13, 2008. An unauditable designation means that important financial documents were missing, incomplete or inaccurate. The release of this report effectively removes the district from an unauditable status.

Additional concerns outlined in the report include:

  • Missing ledgers documenting each individual financial transaction
  • Incomplete council meeting minutes
  • Lax oversight in council’s review of important financial documents

A copy of the complete audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.