Ohio audit finds Clark County using public money for campaign purposes


FAMILY BUSINESS?: An audit from the Ohio Auditor’s office reports Clark County Department of Jobs and Family Services used public funds for a campaign activity.

By Stephanie Kreuz | WatchdogWire.com

An audit by the Ohio auditor’s office reports the Clark County Department of Jobs and Family Services transferred $25,000 of public money from an off-book account to a levy campaign.

“The Department of Jobs and Family Services went rogue in Clark County, and not in a good way,” Ohio Auditor David Yost said in the release of the audit. “There should be a high, impenetrable wall between public money and politics.”

The auditor’s office referred the matter to Clark County Prosecutor Andrew Wilson.

Ohio law holds any public official liable who either authorizes or supervises the accounts for an authorization of an illegal expenditure. If the transfer was indeed as the auditor’s office concluded, Robert Suver, CCDJFS’ director at the time, and Jean Chepp, a fiscal administrator who signed the check, could both be liable.

Suver told the Springfield News-Sun, “My attorney is doing whatever we need to do. We’re definitely contesting it, appealing wherever we can appeal.”

Dan Harkins, Suver’s attorney, told the News-Sun the money transferred to the campaign account was from Rocking Horse Center, a private health care organization in Springfield, and is not public money.

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