The Ohio State Auditor on Tuesday slammed a small village just west of Cincinnati, saying a review of finances there showed “a disturbing lack of effort.”
Ohio auditor Keith Faber said Addyston’s financial commitment report for 2018 and 2019 found 42 instances of record-keeping issues.
The report notes that on several occasions, appropriate deductions were not taken from the wages of village employees. He also said the issues resulted in late fees for state employee pension funds, the Internal Revenue Service and a credit card company.
“The Village should be ashamed of this audit report,” Faber said. “To have over 40 findings that show complete disregard for the law and the financial well-being of the community is a disappointment to say the least.”
Addyston and its 930 residents border Cincinnati. The town sits on the Ohio River and has struggled ever since the 1937 flood that damaged much of the village. This year, Hamilton County began working with Addyston leaders to improve the housing stock there.
In March, the village made headlines when its former police chief, Dorian LaCourse, was indicted by the federal government. LaCourse is accused of using his position to help two arms dealers “acquire hundreds of machine guns”, prosecutors said.
As for the finances of the village, some of the employees are responsible for reimbursements, many of which are less than $1,000. But village clerk Margaret Ann Dozier and her surety company, Public Entities Pool of Ohio, are responsible for paying more than $11,000 related to penalties originally paid by the village.
Dozier did not immediately respond to a voicemail Tuesday afternoon.
Addyston Mayor Lisa Mear said on Tuesday the village was hiring an accounting firm to “open the books” and start putting everything in order.
Both Mear and councilor Dan Pillow told The Enquirer that the village’s accounting is complex and beyond their expertise; neither commented on the details of the auditor’s report. They both acknowledged that this problem was serious.
“It’s a bad report. There’s no getting around it,” Mear said. “We didn’t want to be in this situation.