2008-12-20 / Editorials & Letters

Prepayment is not a good practice

Editor:

In my last letter, I mentioned that former GOB (Good Ol' Boy) Johnny (Bob) Adkins paid council members two months early. I also mentioned this to the Auditor of State's office and got a written reply from their legal division.

They opened with: "Please be advised that we cannot give you legal advice on this issue. We respond to inquiries presented to this office in the context of an audit. We can, however, give you some information and direction that you can share with either the village solicitor or you own legal counsel."

After citing sections of the Ohio Revised Code concerning payroll; expenditures; liability of wrongful payments with public funds; and possible ethics violations, the reply states, "Generally speaking, the issuance of payroll in advance of services rendered is not a good business practice, particularly as it applies to the situation you presented. An audit team may want to review the resolution approved by the village council in order to determine the rationale behind such a decision." They also offered to forward this information to the regional office for consideration during the next audit for the village and added that their response is "merely an attempt to approximate how our office would answer your question in the context of an audit."

My guess is that since former Village Clerk/Treasurer Adkins made this mistake and chose to do nothing about it, there probably are many more "mistakes" that we don't know about…yet! Could this be the reason it was so hard to get public records?!

And speaking of reasons…I would like to use this freedom to add that I, too, believe the reason for the season is Christ. To quote Nancy Montell from Liberty Township in last week's Beacon: "Santa is fun, but Christ is the spirit of Christmas." Don't take Christ out of Christmas.

Merry CHRISTmas! Bonnie Mansfield Buckeye Lake

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