Fiscal Integrity

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Background

Passed during the 130th General Assembly and enacted on March 23, 2015, the Fiscal Integrity Act raises the bar of accountability for fiscal officers across the state. The law helps deter accounting errors and fraud with increased training requirements and a new removal process for fiscal officers.

Education Requirements

Newly elected or appointed fiscal officers must complete:

  • 6 hours of initial education courses before commencing their term in office or within the first year in office
  • An additional 18 hours of continuing education courses before the end of their first term in office
    • If the township fiscal officer is appointed to fill a vacancy, the total hours for training will be based upon the amount of time left in the unexpired term

Re-elected fiscal officers must complete 12 hours of continuing education courses before the end of each subsequent term (including 2 hours of ethics training).

Fiscal officers may count certain training programs or seminars including:

  • Public records trainings offered by the Auditor of State or Attorney General (3 hours)
  • Continuing education hours completed as a CPA
  • CPIM Trainings
  • Hours from an approved continuing education course taught by the fiscal officer

Fiscal officers that fall under the requirements include: city auditors, city treasurers, township fiscal officers, village fiscal officers, village clerk-treasurers, village clerks, and in the case of a municipality with a charter, whomever the charter designates with the duties of these offices.

Training Opportunities

Local Government Officials' Conference (13 credits)

The Ohio Auditor of State’s Local Government Officials’ Conference, held annually in the Spring, gives attendees the opportunity to obtain up to 13 credits. Check our site in 2016 for information related to the next conference.

Certified Public Records Trainings (3 credits)

The Auditor of State’s office provides free, live Certified Public Records Trainings around the state annually. The training schedule may be found out our website.

The Attorney General’s office offers a free, on–demand webinar for Certified Public Records Training on their website, www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov.

Uniform Accounting Network online training modules (39 credits)

UAN application training focuses on the functionality of the accounting, payroll, and budget modules, as well as a variety of additional topics covered by lunch and learn webinars. These sessions are recommended for UAN clients. Sessions can be found online.

Ohio Township Association Annual Conference (12.5 credits)

On January 29-30, 2015, the Ohio Township Association Annual Conference held 23 sessions which qualified for training credit. Attendees could earn up to a maximum 12.5 credits at the conference. Over 300 fiscal officers received at least the three training hours needed for the current year.


**All courses totaled provide 67 hours of available training annually. The training department is pursuing additional options, including self-reporting of classes which have been pre-approved by a Fiscal Officer Integrity Act committee.

Removal Process

The law provides that a fiscal officer can be removed from office if there is clear and convincing evidence the fiscal officer acted knowingly, purposefully or recklessly in engaging in misconduct, or failure to act. That determination is made through a process that affords substantial due process, starting with a written affidavit and any evidence. Prior to removal of a fiscal officer, the evidence is first reviewed by the Auditor of State and then the Attorney General. If the Attorney General agrees with the Auditor of State’s findings, the Attorney General will initiate a lawsuit for removal in the Court of Common Pleas of the jurisdiction where the misconduct took place. Any fiscal officer removed from office cannot hold another public office for four years and until repayment or restitution required by the court is satisfied.

Removal Process for:

County Treasurer

The following requirements must be met in order to move forward with removal from office proceedings:

A county treasurer who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly fails to perform a fiscal duty expressly imposed by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office of fiscal officer or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly commits any act expressly prohibited by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office

AND

A county commissioner or the county auditor submits a sworn affidavit with allegations and evidence against the county treasurer to the Auditor of State

Once the affidavit is submitted the following actions are taken:

  • The Auditor of State has at least 10 days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is no convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to the county treasurer and the person who submitted the allegations
      OR
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to both individuals mentioned above as well as the Ohio Attorney General for further review
  • Upon receipt of the complaint the Attorney General has at least 10 days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations
    • If the Attorney General determines there is no convincing evidence, the Attorney General will notify the Auditor of State, county treasurer, and person who submitted the allegations via certified mail
      OR
    • If the Attorney General determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to all individuals mentioned above and an action for removal of the county treasurer from office will be taken
      • The Attorney General shall take action within 45 days to take the case to court to remove the county treasurer from office
  • The court may issue an order prohibiting the county treasurer from making any official duties prior to or during the court proceedings
  • In the case of a not guilty verdict, the board of county commissioners is responsible for paying the attorney fees for the county treasurer
  • In the case of a guilty verdict, the county treasurer is responsible for reimbursing the board of county commissioners for the attorney fees and costs up to a reasonable amount

In addition to the removal process, the Fiscal Integrity Act also provides that if a county treasurer fails to perform the duties of office for thirty consecutive days, except in case of sickness or injury, the office will be deemed vacant.

County Auditor

The following requirements must be met in order to move forward with removal from office proceedings:

A county auditor who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly fails to perform a fiscal duty expressly imposed by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office of fiscal officer or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly commits any act expressly prohibited by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office

AND

A county commissioner or the county treasurer submits a sworn affidavit with allegations and evidence against the county auditor to the Auditor of State

Once the affidavit is submitted the following actions are taken:

  • The Auditor of State has at least 10 days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is no convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to the county auditor and the person who submitted the allegations
      OR
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to both individuals mentioned above as well as the Ohio Attorney General for further review
  • Upon receipt of the complaint the Attorney General has at least 10 days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations
    • If the Attorney General determines there is no convincing evidence, the Attorney General will notify the Auditor of State, county auditor, and person who submitted the allegations via certified mail
      OR
    • If the Attorney General determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to all individuals mentioned above and an action for removal of the county auditor from office will be taken
      • The Attorney General shall take action within 45 days to take the case to court to remove the county auditor from office
  • The court may issue an order prohibiting the county auditor from making any official duties prior to or during the court proceedings
  • In the case of a not guilty verdict, the board of county commissioners is responsible for paying the attorney fees for the county auditor
  • In the case of a guilty verdict, the county auditor is responsible for reimbursing the board of county commissioners for the attorney fees and costs up to a reasonable amount

In addition to the removal process, the Fiscal Integrity Act also provides that if a county auditor fails to perform the duties of office for thirty consecutive days, except in case of sickness or injury, the office will be deemed vacant.

Township Fiscal Officer

The following requirements must be met in order to move forward with removal from office proceedings:

A township fiscal officer who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly fails to perform a fiscal duty expressly imposed by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office of fiscal officer or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly commits any act expressly prohibited by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office

AND

Four residents of the township submit a sworn affidavit with allegations and evidence against the fiscal officer to the Auditor of State Same removal process as above

Once the affidavit is submitted the following actions are taken:

  • The Auditor of State has no more than 10 days, unless for good cause shown additional time is required, to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is no convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to the county treasurer and the person who submitted the allegations
      OR
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to both individuals mentioned above as well as the Ohio Attorney General for further review
  • Upon receipt of the complaint the Attorney General has at least 10 days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations
    • If the Attorney General determines there is no convincing evidence, the Attorney General will notify the Auditor of State, county treasurer, and person who submitted the allegations via certified mail
      OR
    • If the Attorney General determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to all individuals mentioned above and an action for removal of the county treasurer from office will be taken
      • The Attorney General shall take action within 45 days to take the case to court to remove the county treasurer from office
  • The court may issue an order prohibiting the county treasurer from making any official duties prior to or during the court proceedings
  • In the case of a not guilty verdict, the board of county commissioners is responsible for paying the attorney fees for the county treasurer
  • In the case of a guilty verdict, the county treasurer is responsible for reimbursing the board of county commissioners for the attorney fees and costs up to a reasonable amount

In addition to the removal process, the Fiscal Integrity Act also provides that if a township fiscal officer fails to perform the duties of office for thirty consecutive days, except in case of sickness or injury, the office will be deemed vacant.

Fiscal Officer

Fiscal officers include: city auditors, city treasurers, village fiscal officers, village clerks-treasurers, village clerks, and in the case of a municipality with a charter, whomever the charter designates with the duties of these offices.

The following requirements must be met in order to move forward with removal from office proceedings:

A fiscal officer who purposely, knowingly, or recklessly fails to perform a fiscal duty expressly imposed by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office of fiscal officer or purposely, knowingly, or recklessly commits any act expressly prohibited by law with respect to the fiscal duties of the office

AND

A member of the legislative authority of the municipal corporation submits a sworn affidavit with allegations against the auditor to the Auditor of State

Once the affidavit is submitted the following actions are taken:

  • The Auditor of State has at least 10 days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is no convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to the county treasurer and the person who submitted the allegations
      OR
    • If the Auditor of State determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to both individuals mentioned above as well as the Ohio Attorney General for further review
  • Upon receipt of the complaint the Attorney General has at least 10 days to determine whether the evidence supports the allegations
    • If the Attorney General determines there is no convincing evidence, the Attorney General will notify the Auditor of State, county treasurer, and person who submitted the allegations via certified mail
      OR
    • If the Attorney General determines there is convincing evidence, the report will be submitted to all individuals mentioned above and an action for removal of the county treasurer from office will be taken
      • The Attorney General shall take action within 45 days to take the case to court to remove the county treasurer from office
  • The court may issue an order prohibiting the county treasurer from making any official duties prior to or during the court proceedings
  • In the case of a not guilty verdict, the board of county commissioners is responsible for paying the attorney fees for the county treasurer
  • In the case of a guilty verdict, the county treasurer is responsible for reimbursing the board of county commissioners for the attorney fees and costs up to a reasonable amount

In addition to the removal process, the Fiscal Integrity Act also provides that if a fiscal officer fails to perform the duties of office for thirty consecutive days, except in case of sickness or injury, the office will be deemed vacant.