ADA — The Ada Village Council announced the termination of Crystal Huffer, fiscal officer for the village, following a special council meeting on Friday. Council took the action based on discrepancies discovered during the audit of the village’s 2018 finances by the office of Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber.

 

In a prepared statement, Ada Mayor David Retterer asserted Ms. Huffer was released for “…misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance, each of which is a Group III offense as per the Village’s Policy and Procedure Manual,” adding, “Crystal failed to report inaccuracies in the books. Crystal concealed that she had inaccuracies in the books. Crystal failed to accurately report payroll to the IRS and incurred penalties and interest as a result. Crystal concealed that she failed to make these reports and that penalties and interest were imposed.”

According to Village Administrator Jamie Hall, the inaccuracies Mayor Retterer referenced were chronic throughout 2018.

“When the audit was taking place and the lead auditor came down, what he said to me is there are variances in the balance between the bank and the village,” Mr. Hall said. “The variances were throughout every month of 2018, and the variances were both up and down.”

As for the size of the variances, they ran the gamut, as well

“It’s not like we discovered there’s $200,000 missing,” Mr. Hall said, referencing rumors circulating throughout the village. “The only thing I can say is that there are variances in the reconciling of the bank and the village numbers. The variances were anywhere between a low of $3,500 to a high of $660,000.”

Given the circumstances, council has called for a forensic audit of the village’s finances to determine the scope of the situation and any possible underlying reason for these errors. Pending the outcome of that procedure, speculation, Mr. Hall said, is fruitless.

“Until the audit procedure to try and find out what’s going on is finalized, we’re not going to know,” Mr. Hall said.