Ohio State Auditor: Years of 'innacurate accounting' led to Hamilton Twp. financial crisis

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, OHIO -- The Ohio Auditor of State blamed years of “inaccurate accounting and budgeting” for the April financial emergency in Hamilton Township.

“All local governments should take note,” Ohio Auditor David Yost said. “Internal controls left unchecked get worse over time.”

In his audit, Yost said the township’s apparent loss of more than $2 million in December 2012 and 2013 was the result of an inadequate “separation of duties related to deposit of receipts, posting of transactions and reconciliation of township accounts.”

He said the Board of Trustee’s has since been updated to include a review of fiscal records by trustees and a system for making sure finances were being recorded properly.

About three weeks ago, the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office announced it would not file charges against longtime former Hamilton Township fiscal officer, Jack Terwilleger, who retired in March.

Terwilleger managed the township’s funds during the time the money went missing.

An earlier Bureau of Criminal Investigation report showed alleged backdating of checks, unauthorized use of a trustee’s signature and improper deferred compensation payments.

Since March, township officials and residents defended Terwilleger.

"She's always been honest and upfront," said Hamilton Township resident Roger Bingham. "She's been there a long time, she's been voted in many times, so it should tell us something."

The auditor found Tewilleger received excess tax credits of $6,834 for her payment to the Ohio Deferred Compensation fund. He reported she paid the amount back to the state on July 10.

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