By Dustin Ensinger
Kingston Township officials were unlawfully reimbursed nearly $10,000 for medical expenses over a two-year period, a routine state audit found.
Five township officials were reimbursed $9,593 in health care costs between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2012, the audit said, adding “Recovery for public monies illegally expended is hereby issued …”
Under Ohio law, if a township does not purchase a group insurance policy, it can reimburse out-of-pocket premium expenses for insurance coverage.
However, the township was reimbursing officials for health care costs “in general.”
William Shively, chairman of the board of trustees, declined to comment on the findings, saying the township has yet to see a finalized copy of the report.
Shively was reimbursed $681, which he has already repaid to the townships’ general fund. Fellow Trustee Steven Volpe was reimbursed $202. He has also repaid the townships’ general fund.
Others that received illegal reimbursements include Fiscal Officer Greg Roy, Zoning Secretary David Stites and Road Maintenance Supervisor Douglas Crowl.
Roy has also repaid the general fund for the reimbursement.
Township officials still owe $7,975, and the total could rise. The township continued the practice into 2013 until it was advised by the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office that paying for general health care costs could be a violation of Ohio law.
At its organization meeting in 2014, the township passed a resolution that allows select employees to be reimbursed up to $4,500 for out-of-pocket health insurance premiums.
Dustin Ensinger can be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @EnsingerDG.