Columbus – A former director of the Jefferson Emergency Rescue District (Ashtabula County) will serve two years of probation and repay $1,032 for falsifying his time sheets, a judge ruled recently.
Eugene Carter received the sentence after pleading guilty on July 6 to fifth-degree felony counts of theft in office and falsification in a theft offense. State auditors following up on an anonymous tip found that Carter failed to clock out of work at the district before going to work at his side job with University Hospitals. The tip was submitted to the Auditor’s office through its fraud hotline.
A report released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost shows the district paid Carter $1,032 from August 2012 through January 2016 for 49 hours he spent working at his other job. Carter was captain of the district before he becomes the director in April 2015.
“Lying about work hours is just as bad as stealing from a cash drawer,” Auditor Yost said. “The district needs better payroll oversight to prevent dishonest employees from inflating their time sheets.”
At the time, the district lacked a time sheet approval process for the captain and director, auditors wrote. The poor oversight allowed Carter to receive an additional $494 in overpayments for overtime hours. His predecessor, James Brueggeman, was overpaid $756 for overtime from 2013 through 2014.
Auditors issued findings for recovery in the amounts of $1,526 and $756 against Carter and Brueggeman, respectively. The district has since eliminated the director position and implemented a new system for tracking employee work hours, officials said in a response to the audit findings.
Since 2011, the Auditor of State’s office has helped secure 166 convictions across Ohio. An interactive map available here provides information on all of the cases.
A full copy of this report is online.