An audit from the office of Auditor of State Dave Yost says three Hamilton Township (Lawrence County) public officials were improperly reimbursed $6,188 for medical and hospital expenses, but also says those reimbursements have been paid back.
Two municipalities are located on Hamilton Township’s shoreline: Hanging Rock, the smallest village in the county, in the middle; and part of Ironton, the county seat and only city of Lawrence County, in the southeast.
Findings of the audit indicate former Township Fiscal Officer Terri Robinson received reimbursements totaling $2,500 in 2013; Township Trustee Robert Blankenship received reimbursements totaling $2,166 in 2012 and 2013 and Township Trustee Larry Fraley received reimbursement for $1,522 in 2013.
According to the Ohio Revised Code, reimbursements are permitted for insurance premiums, not the costs of medical services.
“The fiscal officers and trustees are responsible for compliance with these laws and regulations,” Yost said. “I am pleased that the trustees have already repaid the amount owed to the township.”
Yost said, as trustees, Blankenship, Fraley and the late William Robinson, and their bonding companies are jointly and severally liable for $2,500 because they signed the warrants resulting in the improper payment to Terri Robinson. Under Ohio law, township payments require at least two trustee signatures in addition to the fiscal officer.
On Sept. 13, 2016, Blankenship paid $2,166 and Fraley paid $1,522 to Hamilton Township. These findings for recovery are considered to be repaid in full.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.