COLUMBUS – An audit of the Village of Blanchester uncovered $3,411 in credit card purchases from 2013 and 2014 that lacked supporting documentation or did not serve a proper public purpose, according to a report released Thursday by Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost.
The report cites 92 credit card expenditures totaling $6,480 that were not supported by receipts. Using alternative methods, auditors determined $3,725 of the spending was allowable, but inadequate records made it impossible to tell whether the remaining $2,755 in purchases served a proper public purpose, according to the Auditor of State.
“Auditors need a paper trail to track public spending,” Yost said. “Without all the necessary records, we can’t confirm that taxpayers got any value from these purchases.”
Blanchester Mayor John Carman told the News Journal Thursday, “I don’t think it was an intentional misuse of funds, but just a lack of a good policy to maintain.”
Among the unsupported transactions were hundreds of dollars spent at Kroger, Office Depot, Hyatt Regency, Mr. Clean Car Wash and Lowe’s.
Auditors concluded four additional expenditures totaling $656 did not serve a proper public purpose:
• Interest and fees, $393
• AAA membership, $110
• Newseum museum, $84
• Hilton Columbus (movies), $69
A $3,411 finding for recovery was issued against Jim Myers, business manager for the village’s board of public affairs, because he approved the credit card invoices and submitted them for payment.
Auditors issued an additional $223 finding for recovery against Myers for an excess travel payment. The board of public affairs gave Myers a $600 check on Feb. 21, 2013, but receipts showed he only spent $377 of the amount. The audit also discovered the board lacked a policy regulating travel expenses at the time of Myers’ travel.
On Jan. 30, 2017, Myers repaid the full amounts of both findings to the village.
Myers did not immediately return a News Journal call for comment Thursday.
A full copy of the report is online at https://ohioauditor.gov/auditsearch/detail.aspx?ReportID=126994.