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State audit report finds unreported checking account in Belmont

Updated: Thursday, May 8 2014, 06:44 PM EDT

BELMONT, Ohio -- An audit discovered public money had been spent for Super Bowl and Christmas parties in the village of Belmont.
The money came from a checking account that a state auditor said shouldn't exist. It's an account the auditor said was unreported, and in control of Belmont's former Fire Chief Mike Stewart.
According to the report, the account contained money raised from small donations and contracts for EMS service. That money was being spent on parties and gifts.
The audit shows that in 2011, the checking account was used to pay $604 for a Christmas party and gift cards.
In 2012, the spending grew -- $166 for a Super Bowl party, and another $686 on a Christmas party and gift cards -- for a two-year total of  $1,456.
Auditor Dave Yost issued this statement on Friday:
"The issue was not only that the fire department used public money for parties, but they also had a separate checking account without the village's knowledge," Yost said. "Thankfully, this issue has been resolved and the department now has a legitimate source of supplemental funding."   
Stewart did repay that $1,400 in December.
That was after the audit discovered the expenses, and the account.

State audit report finds unreported checking account in Belmont

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