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MAHONING COUNTY State's audit lists 10 minor citations



Published: Wed, July 18, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The audit of the county's financial books did not call for any findings for recovery or list any serious citations.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- A state audit of Mahoning County showed that the juvenile court failed to disburse money from closed cases and did not file annual reports for two years.

Also, money from four county funds was improperly transferred to cover shortfalls in other funds, and the building department failed to deposit money on a timely basis.

The audit, which examined the county's financial books from Jan. 1, 2000, to Dec. 31, 2000, listed 10 minor noncompliance citations and six recommendations.

The audit did not list any findings for recovery or serious citations.

Tablack's comments: "There weren't any surprises," said county Auditor George Tablack about the audit. "Everything in it is on our list of things to do. The report is a clean bill of health."

Cohen and Co., an accounting firm with seven Ohio offices including one in Youngstown, conducted the audit on behalf of the state auditor's office. The auditor's office then reviewed the report, released Tuesday, said Kim Norris, office spokeswoman.

"There are some issues, but they are small in nature," she said in describing the county audit.

The most common problem listed is the failure of various departments to deposit money on a timely basis.

Citations: Among the citations:

U Departments are to deposit money once every 24 hours. The building inspection department failed to do that.

U The child support enforcement agency violated state law by holding unclaimed funds for more than six months without a court order. That money is supposed to be transferred to a county unclaimed fund account after six months.

U Money held by courts for cases that are older than a year is supposed to be returned to the person who is entitled to it and if they cannot be found, given to the county treasurer for placement in a special account. Mahoning County courts in Austintown and Canfield did not do that in 2000. Also, the Austintown court has outstanding checks greater than one year old that have not been processed as unclaimed funds.

U Juvenile court has money that has not been disbursed even though the related cases have been closed. Also, it didn't file annual reports for 1999 and 2000 on the number and types of cases it heard.

Among the recommendations from the auditor's office are: creating an audit committee to oversee the county's financial reporting process; collecting past-due sewer charges by placing property liens on delinquent customers; and the sheriff's department should name a person to handle its monthly bank statements.

skolnick@vindy.com




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