News

City of Hilliard Theft Investigation

Posted November 21, 2017 in Administration by Anna Subler

We would like to inform the public about an investigation that we are handling in a transparent and honest manner. The following statement was released to the media this morning by the City of Hilliard:

The Hilliard Division of Police and the State of Ohio’s Auditor’s Office are jointly investigating an apparent theft of cash from the City’s two aquatic facilities.

A recent preliminary investigation by Hilliard police led it to believe that not all daily cash proceeds from the City’s two pools were properly accounted for in deposits made by the Department of Recreation and Parks.

The Hilliard Division of Police contacted the State Auditor’s Office and requested that it bring in forensic accountants to assist in the investigation.

To ensure that all City funds are properly documented and accounted for, the City is reviewing best practices with plans to execute a new city-wide ‘cash-less’ system after the first of the year. Mayor Don Schonhardt stated, “We are undertaking every step to determine the loss of funds and to hold accountable the person, or persons, that betrayed the public trust and took what was not theirs to take.”

In addition, members of City Council have requested that the State Auditor’s Office conduct a comprehensive review of all internal financial controls and procedures to ensure the full accountability of all public dollars in every City department.

As this is an on-going investigation, no further information can be released at this time pending the outcome of the criminal investigation.

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In response to the City’s statement, Hilliard City Council released the following:

“Every member of Hilliard City Council takes these allegations very seriously and is committed to supporting the ongoing investigation. We are dedicating the necessary resources to hold responsible parties accountable and implement best practice standards to prevent this from happening in the future.”

City Council has requested that the Ohio Auditor of State conduct a separate, comprehensive review of all internal financial controls and procedures within the Hilliard Finance Department. This audit, in addition to the ongoing criminal investigation, will ensure that necessary safeguards are in place to protect public tax dollars.

Members of City Council are dedicated to transparency in city government and will ensure that the public is informed of the outcome of both investigations.