Morgan Twp. finances ‘unauditable’

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Morgan Twp. finances ‘unauditable’

Incomplete financial records and bank reconciliations have landed Morgan Twp. on the “unauditable” list by Ohio Auditor Dave Yost.

During the course of the regular financial audit of the township for Jan. 1, 2013, through Dec. 31, 2014, the accounting firm of Perry & Associates noted Morgan Twp.’s incomplete financial records and bank reconciliations. Because of that, Yost determined that the condition of the township’s financial records was not adequate to complete the audit.

“Poorly kept records create a lack of accountability,” said Yost. “Morgan Twp. must bring its records back to an auditable condition to complete the audit.”

The “unauditable” list has nearly 40 public entities on it, but Morgan Twp. is the only one in Southwest Ohio and is one of 10 townships listed. It was added to the list on Oct. 26.

Yost sent the township officials a letter about its audit, and within 90 days of receiving the letter Morgan Twp. officials must revise its financial records and provide the necessary data.

Failure to bring accounts, records and reports to an auditable condition may result in legal action, according to the state auditor’s office. That includes the possibility of the attorney general issuing a subpoena to township officials to explain the condition of records or filing a lawsuit to compel the officials to prepare and/or produce the required information.

An entity is removed from the “unauditable” list once the audit is completed and released to the public.

Morgan Twp.’s fiscal officer is Joseph Spade, but he could not be reached for comment. Spade did not seek re-election to the position, a seat last won in a special election in 2013. Mollie Hansel ran unopposed for the fiscal officer’s seat and was elected in Tuesday general election.

Morgan Twp. Trustee Brett Updike confirmed the township received the letter from the auditor’s office and the trustees and administration are aware of the situation.

While he said he’s not overly concerned about the letter, saying the township has information but the audit just needs to be competed, he is upset it wasn’t done.

“He’s just got to make sure everything’s done right,” said Updike. “He’s got the information and just needs to complete it.”

Auditor’s office press secretary Brittany Halpin said she can’t recall the last time, if any, the auditor’s office proceeded any type of action outside of freezing the financial assets of some charter schools in the Cleveland area, “but the rules are different for charter schools.”

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