Columbus – More than $2,000 in public money went missing under the watch of a former secretary for the City of Springboro Building and Zoning Department (Warren County), according to a special audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Money in should always result in records and receipts,” Auditor Yost said. “Without proper documentation, taxpayer dollars are at risk.”
In April 2011, the city’s finance director and a representative of the firm conducting Springboro’s financial audit contacted the Auditor of State’s office to report alleged theft in the building and zoning department. The Auditor of State’s Special Audit Task Force examined the information and found that cash collections for permit fees decreased significantly from 2004 through 2010. The special audit was initiated on July 6, 2011.
The special audit of the City of Springboro Building and Zoning Department covered the period of January 1, 2006 through November 12, 2010. It sought to determine whether department permit fees were collected, recorded and deposited, and whether voided permit fee receipts were for a valid reason.
A former department secretary was responsible for the permit process. The special audit noted several instances where auditors were unable to trace money received to a deposit into the city’s bank account. For example, seven approved permit forms paid for with cash were voided, totaling $1,159. No reasons were documented for the void.
In another instance, four permit forms were approved by the department, signed by the customer, and the permit form indicated that payment had been made by the customer. However, no receipt was maintained by the department, and no payment was recorded in the computer system. The permit forms showed that the fees paid totaled $288.
Several other payments for permits were unaccounted for, bringing the total findings for recovery issued against former secretary Denise Payne to $2,088.
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.