Ohio Auditor’s Office says audit of Sunshine Inc. isn’t certain

Staff report


The Ohio Auditor’s Office has not agreed to audit Sunshine Inc., a non-profit corporation that runs housing programs for the city of Warren.

A spokesperson for Ohio Auditor David Yost said Tuesday the office “has not agreed to do the audit yet” but has asked the city for a meeting to learn more about Sunshine Inc.

One reason it has not moved forward on conducting such an audit is that it has not yet determined whether it has the “statutory authority” to do so, said Yost spokeswoman Brittany Halpin.

Media outlets reported earlier this week that Warren Councilman Al Novak had indicated Yost’s office would conduct an audit — something that Novak and various other officials have been calling for since questions arose in recent months about Sunshine Inc.

When asked about Halpin’s remarks Tuesday afternoon, Novak said he was told by someone within Yost’s organization that the auditor’s office would conduct the audit.

“It’s a priority item,” Novak said of information he received.

The Sunshine Inc. controversy began when Trumbull County Treasurer Sam Lamancusa threatened to foreclose on 87 homes owned by Sunshine that are $187,311 behind on property tax and fee payments to the county.

Since then, officials also have complained that the organization doesn’t open its books to the public despite much of its funding coming from government sources.

Sunshine Inc. provides affordable housing for lower- and moderate- income families.

But because of the housing crisis brought on by the 2008 recession, Sunshine Inc. suffered financial setbacks as did all corporations involved in the housing industry, said its executive director, Anthony Iannucci.

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