A state audit released today questions debit card spending of almost $2,500 by a former Village of Green Camp official.
The audit of the Marion County village names former Fiscal Officer Keith Bradley responsible for 40 purchases totaling $2,473 that lacked receipts or invoices to support the spending. Auditors said some of the items purchased were for Bradley’s personal use.
Bank records show Bradley made the purchases from 2013 through 2015 at more than a dozen locations, including Walmart, Speedway, Tim Hortons, Lowe’s and Sally Beauty Supply. In March 2014 and April 2015, he made two cash reimbursements to the village totaling $1,820.
In addition, the village was refunded $183 for some of the improper purchases of items that were returned to vendors. Auditors ordered Bradley to repay $470 to the village for the amount that was not already reimbursed or refunded. He repaid the village on Dec. 10.
The discrepancies were noted during a reconstruction of the village’s financial records performed by the Auditor of State’s Local Government Services Section. The village of 374 people was placed in a state of fiscal emergency on June 16, 2015, in response to the village’s failure to make payments on outstanding debts.
In August, Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 312 establishing new safeguards to combat credit card abuse at Ohio’s local governments. The legislation requires all forms of local government to enact credit policies specifying how the cards can be used and who is authorized to use them.
HB 312 was sponsored by State Reps. Kirk Schuring (Canton) and Dave Greenspan (Westlake). It was introduced in July 2017 following the release of Credit Card Dangers: Local Governments At Risk Of Theft, which showed more than $1.2 million in public funds have been stolen or misspent at Ohio governments through credit card abuse since 2011.
The report found that some local governments may be putting taxpayer money at risk because they have not instituted basic policies to prevent dishonest employees from abusing government credit cards.
The legislation also bans the use of debit cards, except for certain law-enforcement purposes and grant-related activities, and requires credit card policies to provide guidance on credit limits, reissue periods and the number of cards in use.
Other changes include:
- A requirement for some governmental entities to have their accounts and policies reviewed regularly by a compliance officer.
- Creates reporting guidelines for governmental entities to report the benefits and rewards they have received as a result of their use of a credit card.
A full copy of this report is available online.