Auditor: Spencerville’s books don’t add up

By Sam Shriver -

COLUMBUS — In June of 2019, the Village of Spencerville was placed on the “unauditable” list by Ohio Auditor Keith Faber for “a lack of financial records and bank reconciliations.”

On Tuesday, Faber’s office issued multiple findings for recovery in connection with the 2017-2018 fiscal audit of the village’s books.

According to a news release from the Ohio Auditor’s office, the state issued three findings for recovery and 31 other findings.

Among the findings for recovery:

• The Village paid penalties and interest totaling $3,434 during 2018 and $1,955 during 2017 for late remittance of pension and payroll withholdings and contribution liabilities, the late payment of utility bills, the late payment of debt obligations and late payment of various vendor invoices for goods and services.

• A finding for recovery was issued against Lori Och, clerk-treasurer and her bonding company in the amount of $5,668 in favor of Spencerville’sgeneral, street construction and maintenance, permissive motor vehicle license tax, police enforcement, water, sewer and swimming pool funds in the amount of $4,901, $94, $8, $250, $206, $47 and $162 respectively.

• The audit also found Och was overpaid $542 in 2017 and 2018 and likewise Sean Chapman, village administrator, was overpaid $1,195 for both years.

• The audit did find that Wright Refuse Inc. was issued duplicate payments resulting in an overpayment of $10,857. Wright Refuse did repay this.

Spencerville Mayor Phil Briggs says they have taken corrective action to keep a better handle on their finances.

“We have hired a consultant for a fiscal officer to help with the UAN. That was the major concern that we had,” Briggs said. “The UAN is the software that they record everything in.”

Och took over the clerk-treasurer duties five years ago and Briggs admits that the village should have done more to help her.

“I guess you could say the training wasn’t complete, let’s put it that way,” Briggs said.

The consultant started working with Och this week.

“Right now we have no problems. We started off the year with books that are 100% correct. The consultant will be with her two days a week to double-check everything she’s doing. After 90 days, we’re gonna have a sit-down and he’s gonna give me an assessment of Lori, and we’ll go from there.” Briggs said.

By Sam Shriver

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.

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