Columbus – Berea City Schools (Cuyahoga County) Treasurer Randal Scherf overpaid himself nearly $28,000 in medical insurance expenses, according to an audit released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.
“Payroll is what treasurers do,” Auditor Yost said. “It’s bad enough to get it wrong by $28,000, but it’s worse when it goes into your own pocket.”
The audit reported findings for recovery totaling $31,387, including $27,899 against Scherf and $3,488 in unrelated findings against a former employee for excess COBRA payments. The largest portion of the finding against Scherf amounted to $20,795 for his own medical expenses from Oct. 2009 to Dec. 2011. Scherf was reimbursed at the rate of $1,189 per month, but was entitled only to the amount of actual expenses, which ranged from $298 monthly to $686 monthly.
Also included in the finding against Scherf was $7,104 in reimbursements for COBRA payments on behalf of his spouse. Not only did Scherf fail to document the expense, but a separation agreement indicated that it should have been paid by the spouse’s former employer.
In a second, unrelated finding against a former district employee, the employee was reimbursed by the district at a rate of $1,200 per month from Feb. 2011 through Oct. 2011 for health insurance costs under COBRA. However, her actual out-of-pocket expenses were only $899 per month, ending in July.
The findings for recovery have been referred to the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor.
A full copy of the audit may be found online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,600 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.