Ohio Auditor says Darke Co village misspent thousands in tax dollars

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio Auditor of State said Thursday a Miami Valley village misspent thousands of dollars on contest prizes.

According to the Auditor’s office, the Village of Wayne Lakes misspent thousands of tax dollars on a golf cart, kayak and other prizes that it gave to citizens during 2015 and 2016, according to a state audit released Thursday.

“These officials were elected to run a government – not a game show,” Auditor Yost said. “Their use of tax dollars to pay for contest prizes is both wasteful and illegal.”

The report names former fiscal officer Tammy Barger responsible for a dozen improper payments totaling $4,210, most of which did not serve a proper public purpose. Auditors ordered her to repay those funds to the Darke County village because she authorized the spending.

The purchases included a $3,500 golf cart and a $220 kayak paid for with money from the general fund and raffled off to benefit the village. Another $187 covered the costs of a permit for the golf cart and raffle tickets for the fundraisers. 

Auditors also questioned a $500 withdrawal by the previous mayor for prize money that was intended for a fishing tournament in 2015. The expense, which did not serve a proper public purpose, was later repaid by the mayor.

In 2016, the village paid $400 to a painting instructor to provide entertainment at a fundraising party supporting the village’s beach. The spending was deemed improper because village council never approved the event. However, the proceeds from the fundraiser offset the payment.

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