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Inaction Bred Corruption in Village of Smithfield
Columbus – A complete lack of monitoring and accounting led to the misuse of public dollars and the failure to meet financial obligations, according to an audit of the Village of Smithfield (Jefferson County) released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“The Village of Smithfield simply did not comply with accounting rules,” Auditor Yost said. “That’s easy to do when no one is paying attention. Thankfully, the village’s new leadership is working with our office to construct its books and get back on track.”
Deemed unauditable for the second audit period in a row, the village did not maintain any financial records, and auditors were forced to construct them based on the village’s bank statements from 2010.
That information gave auditors a fair picture of the village’s finances during the audit period and allowed them to determine the following:
- Former Village Clerk/Treasurer Sara Morris made one unsupported purchase with a village debit card, totaling $118;
- Former Mayor Patricia Freeland made 19 unsupported purchases with a village debit card, totaling $1,879; and
- Former Village Clerk/Treasurer Janice McCoy issued two checks to herself for unsupported reimbursements, totaling $564, collected but did not deposit $3,403 from the village Mayor’s Court, and overpaid herself $6,977.
Findings for recovery have been issued against all three women in their respective amounts. These findings have been referred to the Jefferson County Prosecutor.
In addition to findings for recovery, the audit also identified that the village failed to remit applicable court costs and collections to the State Treasury and failed to withhold state and federal taxes from salaries. Referrals will be made to the Treasurer of State and the Internal Revenue Service.
A full copy of this audit report 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 5,800 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.