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Special Audit Confirms Missing Money at Ashland County-City Health Department
Columbus – Nearly $90,000 in payments for health services went missing under the watch of a former Ashland County-City Health Department administrative assistant, as confirmed by a special audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“It’s no coincidence when $90,000 goes missing,” Auditor Yost said. “Thanks to the teamwork between state and local officials, this former staff member will have her day in court.”
The Ashland County-City Health Department routinely holds flu clinics and provides vaccinations and other services throughout the county. Records are maintained to document the services provided and method of payment. After a specific immunization administered in December 2011, a customer called the health department to inquire about their payment and requested a receipt. While looking into the customer’s request, a nurse found that this immunization was not recorded in the computer.
The nurse notified the department administrator of the missing payment and the administrator notified the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office and Prosecutor. An internal investigation found that there were missing receipts of nearly $90,000. Ashland County Prosecutor Ramona Rogers continued her investigation, and on March 13, 2012, she requested a special audit be conducted by the Auditor of State’s office. The information was presented to the Auditor of State’s Special Audit Task Force, and the special audit was initiated on March 14, 2012.
The special audit reviewed the daily records kept by the health department for the period of October 1, 2006 through December 31, 2011 to determine if nursing receipt collections were paid into Ashland County intact. Auditors found that $89,061 received by the nursing department was not receipted into the county’s computer system or paid to the county. Former Administrative Assistant Heather Drotleff was responsible for recording the receipts into the computer system and making the deposits. A finding for recovery in the full amount was issued against Drotleff.
Through the joint efforts of the Auditor of State’s office, the Ashland County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ashland County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, Drotleff was charged with 42 counts of theft in office, 21 counts of forgery and two counts of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. She is scheduled to stand trial for the charges on March 5, 2013.
A full copy of this audit may be accessed online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.