Audit: Former Golf Manor tax commissioners used village credit card for $9K in personal expenses

Audit: Former Golf Manor tax commissioners used village credit card for $9K in personal expenses
Jamie Smith (Source: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

GOLF MANOR (FOX19) - The former tax commissioner of Golf Manor used a village credit card for more than $9,000 in personal expenses, a 2016 audit found, the State Auditor’s Office announced Tuesday.

“It is my job as Auditor to hold those in public service who lie, cheat, and steal to account,” Auditor Keith Faber said in a news release. “This former tax commissioner will be rightly held responsible for her actions, and tax payers will not have to pay for her misdeeds.”

Jamie Smith, 38, was indicted earlier this year on charges of theft in office and tampering with records, court records show.

Prosecutors alleged the crimes occurred between 2014 and 2017, according to her indictment.

She pleaded guilty a few months ago, on Aug. 29, to one count of attempted theft In office and was placed on community control for three years, court records show.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Kubicki Jr. ordered her to complete 100 hours of community service and pay restitution of $4,083.46, according to a copy of her sentencing report.

Faber said Tuesday he issued a finding for recovery against Smith for $9,025 in favor of the Village of Golf Manor’s General Fund. This amount includes the amount ordered as restitution by the court.

Auditors identified 203 credit card transactions on the village’s administration department credit card that had no supporting documentation and determined that many of these unsupported purchases Jamie Smith made for personal items, according to a news release from Faber’s office.

He said auditors found:

  • Eight transactions totaling $3,004 from Cincinnati Bell for an account at her personal residence
  • Five transactions totaling $921 from Aaron’s for furniture
  • 11 transactions totaling $356 from Walmart for food, drinks, snacks, dog food, and other miscellaneous items
  • Three transactions totaling $176 from Fairfield City Schools for children’s school fees and lunches
  • Three transactions totaling $73 from LaRosa’s for food delivered to her personal residence
  • 22 transactions totaling $422 with no supporting documentation in Butler County at gas stations and restaurants close to Smith’s personal residence
  • Nine transactions with four vendors worth $244 with no supporting documentation to the same vendors found in Smith’s personal bank statements
  • 12 transactions totaling $512 from Craig’s List, Disney, Girl Scout Cookies, Justice Web, Old Navy, Personal Creations, Target, The Children’s Place and Kohl’s without supporting documentation

Smith also received a $1,500 check for medical expenses without proper documentation of the medical services, according to the auditor’s office, and charged the village $1,067 to purchase a battery, oil change, tires and brakes for her personal vehicle.

Finally, on January 27, 2017, the village overpaid Smith $750 for her services as tax commissioner, Faber said.

Village ordinance documents that the tax commissioner only receives $750 each year and Smith received a $1,500 check for her services, he noted.

A full copy of the audit report is available online.

In a statement, Golf Manor officials said they worked closely with the auditor’s office over the last two years to "identify losses incurred by the former village clerk/tax commissioner who terminated employment with the village in March 2017. The Village has cooperated with a thorough and exhaustive analysis of Village finances to uncover losses sustained. We have supported the Auditor and Prosecutor during criminal proceedings and support the recovery of any lost funds through restitution and/or civil proceedings.

“Since transitioning to a new administration and after the employee departed, we have instituted numerous controls as vulnerabilities in procedures and safeguards were identified by the auditor and our own team. We are now confident that these controls will prevent any such loss in the future. The administration has also worked with each village department to ensure better forecasting, budgeting and expense control to put the village on sound financial footing.”

The statement goes on to read that there were no other employees in the village involved.

“The elected officials and employees of the village of Golf Manor continue to be a hard-working, dedicated group serving the residents of the village, and village residents continue to benefit from their service.”

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