Ohio auditor’s office finds joint Perry area recreation district director overpaid due to mistake – News-Herald
The Ohio Auditor’s Office ordered the director of the Perry-area Joint Recreation District to reimburse nearly $ 5,000 he overpaid due to a data entry error.
This warrant was issued after the auditor’s office conducted a rec district finance audit for the years 2019 and 2020.
The office issued what is known as a collection finding, totaling $ 4,891, against recreation council director Mike Smith. A recovery notice is a decision to repay public funds that have been mis-spent or misappropriated.
Rick Amos, Chairman of the Perry Area Joint Recreation District Council, explained that the overpayment of funds did not involve any intentional wrongdoing on the part of Smith or Michelle Woltman, a former district financial officer.
The overpayment of funds was initiated after the board of directors approved a new contract for Smith in May 2019, with an effective salary increase for the first pay period in June of the same year. His new hourly rate entered into the district’s computer system was miscalculated, the state auditor’s office said in a press release.
Amos said Woltman, who retired as chief financial officer of the board in 2020, doesn’t know how she made the mistake.
“It was just one of those things,” Amos said. “Somewhere along the line, when she walked into Mike Smith’s rate of pay, she accidentally put a bad rate that no one took for quite a while.”
This rate of pay was used for a total of 37 pays extending from June 24, 2019 to November 11, 2020, resulting in a total overpayment of $ 4,891.
Lynn Kary, who took over from Woltman as the board’s finance officer, finally noticed the discrepancy between what Smith was paid and the amount that was approved for him in 2019.
“Michelle entered a larger amount – totally inadvertently,” Amos said. “She was just totally devastated that she made the mistake.”
Smith was appointed Director of the Perry Area Joint Recreation District in June 2018.
After Smith was hired, he agreed to take a pay cut to free up additional money to create a new part-time assistant recreation manager position. With this fluctuation in earnings, he really didn’t notice Woltman’s 2019 pay rate mistake, Amos said.
When the issue was reported to Smith, he understood his obligation to return the money and was eager to deal with the matter, Amos said.
In response to the auditor’s finding for the collection, the board approved a measure that stipulates how Smith will reimburse the district.
Smith’s salary will be reduced starting in January, over a 12-month period, to reimburse the district for the full amount it was overpaid. Amos said Smith agreed to the repayment plan, which involves equal installments to be deducted from his paychecks in 2022.
Officially, the Ohio auditor’s office must still authorize the board’s plan to get Smith reimbursed, Amos added.
“I hope this is a formality,” he said, regarding the consideration of the proposal at the state level. “We recognize that this is how we are going to get the money back, so that no one other than the man who received the money pays it back.”