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Employee of Summit County fire district used district credit card to pay tuition for family member, auditors report

October 9, 2018

Employee of Summit County fire district used district credit card to pay tuition for family member, auditors report

NORTHFIELD CENTER, Ohio – The fiscal officer for the now disbanded Northfield Center-Sagamore Hills Fire District used district credit cards to cover more than $12,000 of personal expenses, including college tuition for a family member, state auditors reported Tuesday.

Rosemary Barrett also misused the district credit cards over nearly four years to buy gas, meals, garden supplies, a camera and a hotel stay, according to a news release from the auditor’s office. Barrett failed to document another $10,000 in spending.

“Inadequate safeguards opened the door to years of credit card abuse by this corrupt public servant,” Auditor Dave Yost said in the release. “Basic policies and controls are critical for all governments to detect suspicious activity before financial damage occurs.”

Barrett, of Macedonia, pleaded guilty in January to theft in office, a fourth-degree felony. Summit County Common Pleas Judge Alison Breaux sentenced Barrett to three years of probation and ordered her to pay restitution.

State auditors issued findings for recovery totaling $24,639 against Barrett. The auditors found that Barrett misused the credit cards from January 2012 through September 2016, when the district ceased operations.

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