Keith Faber, Ohio Auditor of State, has released the 2018-2019 financial audit of the Huron County Community Library. The audit included multiple findings for recovery against former fiscal officer Adam Searl.
According to Faber, Searl made two reimbursements to himself. They included a check for $1,212,63 on Nov. 21, 2018 and a second check on Nov. 7, 2018 for $194.30.
“Due to deficiencies in internal policies and procedures, no supporting documentation was provided to support the reimbursement for the first check,” Faber’s report stated. “Check #40895 only had supporting documentation for $145.55 of the $194.30 in expenditures, leaving an unsupported balance of $48.75. Without adequate supporting documentation for these expenditures, auditors could not conclude that these expenditures were for a proper public purpose.”
A finding for recovery was issued against Searl and his bonding company,the Cincinnati Insurance Company, for $1,260 in favor of the Huron County Community Library General Fund.
“Once the Huron County Community Library Board of Trustees realized there were inaccuracies, they consulted the Huron County Prosecutor’s Office for assistance in charging Mr. Searl,” said Laura Lee Wilson, director. “He was terminated in January of 2019.”
Along with the checks, the auditor’s office said they identified 43 Paypal purchases totaling $4,776 transacted by Searl that were linked to the library’s bank account and were not for a proper public purpose. The vendor issued a refund to the library for the unauthorized payments of $4,507 resulting in a net amount of $1,269 owed to the library.
In May 2019, Searl was indicted by the Huron County Grand Jury for theft, a fifth degree felony. On Nov. 5, 2019, he entered a guilty plea.
Searl was sentenced in Huron County Common Pleas Court on Jan. 9, 2020 on the theft charge. He was placed on community control for three years with conditions of sentencing up to 90 days in jail or house arrest per probation. He was ordered to make restitution to the Huron County Community Library of $3,683.98. According to Faber’s office, the library has not received any restitution payments to this date.
A finding for recovery was also issued against Searl and his bonding company of $1,269 in favor of the Huron County Community Library General Fund.
“The Board of Trustees of the Huron County Community Library is confident in the stewardship of the current fiscal officer,” Wilson pointed out. “No further public monies are in jeopardy.”