Is Anyone Looking?

From the Geauga County Maple Leaf, June 21, 2018:

Gliha Pleads Guilty to Dereliction of Duty

“Former Geauga County Auditor Frank Gliha pleaded guilty to four counts of dereliction of duty June 20. The charges stem from actions by a former employee who is accused of embezzling more than $1.8 million from the county between 2011 and 2018.”

The incident described above is the reason Chuck Walder was appointed to the position of County Auditor in 2018. After cleaning up the mess left by his predecessor, Mr. Walder completely revamped the operation of the Auditor’s office, turning it into a professionally run organization that follows accepted accounting practices and demands that county offices prepare accurate budgets and adequately document expenditures of tax money.

This high standard of professionalism and integrity is what has caused several incidents of conflict between the Auditor’s office and the Geauga Park District. The Park District has on several occasions presented budget proposals that were inaccurate and poorly documented. In 2021, an error of nearly two million dollars was included in the Park District budget proposal. How is it surprising that the Auditor removed that money from the budget and returned it to the taxpayers?

The Park District has also been using its public information publications to blame the Auditor for its own incompetence when it unilaterally decided to hire its own fiscal agent and separate itself from the services provided by the county. This process was clearly an arbitrary decision that was unnecessary, that led to complete chaos in the operation of the parks and cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you want the whole story of how that process was conducted, including the exchange of e-mails between the Auditor and the Park District, it is a matter of public record and can be seen on the Geauga County website.

For many years, some local politicians have looked upon the revenue we voters have agreed to provide to government offices as a personal piggy bank that they can crack open and pilfer any time they think no one is looking. The job of the auditor is to always be on the lookout for just such dishonest activity and insist that all expenditures be legitimate.

Don’t be fooled by innuendo, character assassination and lies.

Categories: Commentary, Political

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