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$1,340 in Findings Issued in Village of Milton Center Audit
Columbus – Four Village of Milton Center (Wood County) councilmembers voted to approve $1,340 in payments for snow plowing services that they provided, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“The councilmembers did both the paying and the plowing,” Auditor Yost said. “That doesn’t sound like arm’s length to me.”
The Ohio Revised Code states that transactions are to be conducted at arm’s length, and public officials should take no part in deliberations or decisions of the political subdivision when personal interests are involved.
Auditors found that councilmembers Lydia Sifuentes, Debra Plath, Larry Richendollar and Victoria Torrez introduced and voted on legislation, and approved payments for snow plowing services they provided during fiscal years 2013 and 2014. The councilmembers approved and received the following amounts for their services:
- Lydia Sifuentes: $240 in 2013
- Debra Plath: $860 in 2013 and $85 in 2014 – a total of $945
- Larry Richendollar: $95 in 2013
- Victoria Torres: $60 in 2014
Findings for recovery were issued against the four councilmembers in the amounts listed above, jointly and severally, for a total of $1,340. This matter will be referred to the Ohio Ethics Commission.
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 5,800 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.