NEWTON FALLS, Ohio (WYTV) – A state audit of the Newton Falls Joint Fire District found that the former fiscal officer caused the department to be late on payments, incurring late fees and penalties.
Auditor of State Keith Faber said Joseph Sosnowski failed to remit pension contributions and pay lease and loan payments on time.
“Taxpayers funding a fire district expect that money to go toward public safety not late fees,” Faber said. “Late fees are easily avoidable expenses that taxpayers should not be responsible for paying.”
According to the audit, the district accrued $7, 228 in penalties in 2017 for late payments to the Internal Revenue Service. In that same year, the fire district was charged $278 for late payments on equipment and $100 for a late payment on a building renovation loan, along with a $6 late payment fee to the Ohio Public Employees Retirement Service (OPERS).
In 2016, the fire district was charged $431 in penalties for late payments on an equipment lease and late payments to OPERS.
Faber has issued a “finding for recovery” for the public monies, which is a designation given in a state audit when monies are found to be misspent or misappropriated.