Special audit finds Columbiana employee increased husband's pay by $5,200


Staff report

Columbus

A human-resources manager at the Columbiana County engineer’s office changed her husband’s time sheets to increase his pay by $5,200, according to a special audit released Thursday by state Auditor Dave Yost.

The release said that Christina Phillips, human resources manager and chief financial officer, made false entries into the engineer’s office payroll system to reflect a higher amount of hours worked by her husband, Jordan Phillips, a temporary part-time employee.

Bert Dawson, county engineer contacted Yost’s office in August and requested a review of a possible theft of funds by Phillips, the release said.

Phillips was the payroll clerk for the engineer’s water and sewer department. Her capacity allowed her to access her husband’s payroll information and change the time-clock punches, the release said.

The audit, which reviewed records from January 2009 to August 2012, found that Phillips improperly adjusted her husband’s time sheets 71 times, including 52 times where there was no evidence of him ever working. Auditors also identified 19 instances where her changes did not match the actual time recorded by his time-clock punches. The adjustments increased his pay by $5,273.

A finding for recovery was issued against both Phillipses. The release said Christina Phillips denied any wrongdoing when confronted. She then offered restitution before resigning her position.

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