Lack of Internal Controls lead to Findings for Recovery Exceeding $22,000 in Village of Junction City



June 30, 2020      

Lack of Internal Controls lead to Findings for Recovery Exceeding $22,000 in Village of Junction City

Columbus – Auditor of State Keith Faber’s office today released the 2016 – 2018 audit of the Village of Junction City (Perry County) that identified multiple instances of improper expenditures made by former Village Fiscal Officer Randi Brown.

“We expect our local officials to understand and recognize what a proper public purpose is when spending tax dollars,” said Auditor Faber. “The village should review their internal controls and accountability practices to ensure their books are in order and public funds are being spent appropriately.”

Findings for recovery totaling $22,072 were issued against Former Village Fiscal Officer Randi Brown and her bonding company, Western Surety Company for the following inappropriate expenses:

  • The Council approved salary schedule indicates that Brown would be compensated at a rate of $635 monthly for January and February 2017 and $835 monthly beginning March 2017. For 2017, Brown was paid $10,322 rather than the authorized $9,600, resulting in an overpayment of $722. The extra payment made in August 2017 was omitted from the listing of bills provided to Council for approval. Furthermore, the voucher packet presented for approval for the former Fiscal Officer’s December 2017 pay contained the Police Chief’s name rather than the former Fiscal Officer’s.
    • A finding for recovery for public money illegally expended was issued against Brown, and her bonding company, Western Surety Company for $722 in favor of the Village of Junction City’s General Fund.
  • Brown collected fines related to the Village’s Mayors Court generated from traffic violations. Auditors noted the Village’s duplicate receipts indicated cash of $125 was collected for fines on December 13, 2017 related to a traffic violation. The receipt was signed by Brown indicating the monies were received; however, there was no evidence that the receipt was deposited within the Mayor’s Court bank account. There was no policy in place to ensure all monies collected for the Village’s Mayor’s Court are deposited.
    • A finding for recovery for public money collected but unaccounted for was issued against Brown and her bonding company in the amount of $125 in favor of the Village of Junction City’s Mayor’s Court Fund.
  • During 2017, the Village properly withheld state taxes from the employees’ pay, however, payments for withholdings related to May 2017 through December 2017 were not remitted to the Treasurer of State of Ohio until June 2018. As a result, the Village paid an additional $54 to the Treasurer of State of Ohio for interest related to 2017 payments.
    • A finding for recovery for public monies illegally expended was issued against Brown and her bonding company in the amount of $54 in favor of the Village of Junction City’s General Fund.
  • During 2017, the Village withheld federal taxes and Medicare from employees’ pay but failed to remit withholdings from May through December 2017 until May 2018. As a result, the Village incurred and paid penalties and interest totaling $4,212 to the Internal Revenue Service during 2018.
    • A finding for recovery for public monies illegally expended was issued against Brown and her bonding company in the amount of $4,212, in favor of the Village of Junction City’s General, Street, Water, Wastewater, Fire and EMS Funds, in the amounts of $702 to each fund.
  • Auditors noted the Village paid vendors late fees and penalties totaling $5,952 during 2019, $10,766 during 2018 and $241 during 2017. These were the result of former Fiscal Officer Brown not making payments to vendors in a timely manner. Of these amounts, $15,935 was to settle claims that were incurred directly by the Village as a result of the Village’s worker’s compensation coverage lapsing at the beginning of 2018. An injury occurred during the period in which the policy was lapsed.
    • A finding for recovery for public monies illegally expended was issued against Brown and her bonding company in the amount of $16,959 in favor of the Village of Junction City’s General, Street, Fire, EMS, Water Debt Service, Wastewater Debt Service, Water, and Wastewater Funds, in the amounts of $769, $4,602, $55, $134, $69, $88, $5,621, and $5,621, respectively.

A copy of this report is available online.

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