Clark County -
Auditor of State Mary Taylor today released the special audit of the Clark County Emergency Management Agency. The report identifies more than $81,000 that former county EMA director Robert Hupp used improperly and must repay. County officials requested the audit when concerns were raised about a private business account Hupp managed for the production of a county data directory.
“The misuse of public funds will not be tolerated. Our investigation identified the potential misuse of thousands of taxpayer dollars,” said Taylor. “We will continue to work with local authorities to seek criminal prosecution and to make sure those responsible are held accountable.”
Clark County Prosecutor Stephen A. Schumaker appointed the Auditor of State’s Assistant Chief Legal Counsel, James Manken, to lead the criminal prosecution with the assistance of two attorneys with the Ohio Ethics Commission.
The Auditor of State’s investigation resulted in Hupp’s indictment on April 28, 2008 on charges of theft in office, soliciting or receiving improper compensation, unlawful interest in a public contract and improper use of county assets.
The report indicates that in 1993, county officials discontinued the production of a county directory listing names, numbers and other information for various agencies, businesses and individuals needed during an emergency. Hupp requested and was authorized to continue producing the directories as long as the agency charged sufficient fees to cover production costs.
Hupp is alleged to have used county time and resources to produce the directories, sell them and deposit the proceeds into a private business bank account which he established and controlled.
Auditors examined financial transactions from January 1, 2001 through July 20, 2007 to determine the extent and scope of the alleged theft. The investigation identified $90,571 Hupp received for the sale of the directories and other items. Of that amount, Hupp deposited $77,550 in his private business account and $2,061 into his personal account. An additional $10,960 was collected but could not be traced to deposits into either account.
Of the amount deposited into the private business account, auditors could only identify $7,467 that was spent to produce the county directories. The remaining funds were spent on personal items such as college tuition payments, auto and home repair payments, wedding expenses, credit card bills, taxes and cash withdraws.
The report also indicates that Hupp approved invoices of payments to his own company while acting as county EMA director and requested his staff submit the invoices to the county auditor for payment. Taylor has referred this issue to the Ohio Ethics Commission for further review.
A copy of the complete audit is available online at www.auditor.state.oh.us.