State audit shows ethics violation in Union Twp.

By Dan Wells - bio | email

UNION TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) -- Alleged ethics violations in Union Township has the state of Ohio investigating a township administrator.

A state audit release Thursday is recommending former administrator Doug Walker be investigated after nearly $800,000 in contracts are awarded to an engineering company run by his son.

The audit indicates that Walker approved purchase orders of more than $691,000 for his son's engineering company. Walker also allegedly voted to pay his son more than $108,000 for work completed on Township roadways.

"The township trustees have the judicial responsibility to ensure the accuracy of records and the true representation to the citizens of Clermont County and Union Township," said Alex Lambros, a Union Township resident.

But State Auditor Mary Taylor says Walker may be at the center of ethics violations.

The auditor of state says during past four years, nearly $800,000 in Township contracts were awarded to Professional Engineering Group, LLC.

The audit alleges ethics violations come into play because the company is run by Mark Walker, the son of Doug Walker and his wife, Clermont County commissioner Mary Walker.

Clermont County Democratic Party chairman Dave Lane says he believes all Union Township administrators need to be held accountable.

"They sat by and watched him do what he did and now they fired Doug Walker thinking they've done their part to clean up the corruption and ethics violations in the county. I don't think they have," said Lane.

"They should be held responsibility for what was going on not just Walker," said Lambros.

Now there are certainly two sides to every story...

FOX19 talked with the Republican Party in Clermont County. We were told the chairman was on vacation and no statement would be available.

FOX19 also asked for a response from Union Township. The request for an interview was not returned.

And finally, FOX19 went to the Professional Engineering Group, which Doug Walker's son owns, off of old Route 74. A request for an interview there was also not returned.

The Ohio Revised Code states that no public official shall use his influence to secure a public contract in which he or a member of his family has an interest.