DARKE COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - The fire chief and two firefighter/EMTs in a small, rural Ohio village overpaid themselves a total of $75,835 and are ordered to repay it, the state auditor’s office announced Tuesday.
“Ohio’s first responders exemplify the best in each of us, putting the well-being of those in need above their own well-being on a daily basis,” Auditor Keith Faber said.
“When someone undermines their reputation and the respect they have earned through sacrifice, we will pursue those individuals to ensure they pay for the damage caused by their selfish acts.”
The now-former fire chief of Union City, Pamela Idle, falsified her bi-weekly payroll time sheets to included EMS runs, short transports, and long transports that either did not occur, or for which there were no underlying EMS billing records from January 2010 to August 2016, according to Faber.
Also, no knowledgeable supervisor approved her time sheets.
“Her falsifications led to the village overpaying her $31,305,” he said in a news release.
Auditors found that a firefighter/EMT who is her husband, Craig Idle, also falsified his bi-weekly payroll timesheets during this period.
The timesheets, which Pamela approved, included EMS runs and transports that never occurred or lacked supporting documentation.
“This resulted in the village overpaying him $33,240,” the release states.
Another firefighter/EMT, Brian Stump, falsified his weekly timesheets to include runs that never occurred or didn’t have any documentation, according to the auditor’s office.
The village overpaid him $11,290, Faber said.
The money must be repaid to Village of Union City Fire/Rescue Fund.
In all three cases, no documentation existed to support that the Village Council was aware timesheets were falsified and the over-payments approved.
About 1,599 people live in the village, according to its latest Census data.
A full copy of the audit report is available online.