Elections probe fails to solve records loss

CLEVELAND (AP) - An investigation has failed to determine what happened to records of employees repaying the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections for personal use of board phones.
After interviewing more than a dozen board employees and administering polygraph tests to four, sheriff's detectives were unable to explain how the records disappeared from a basement file room during the summer.
Their report was sent to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason's office, which said it would not pursue the investigation because the detectives found no proof of criminal wrongdoing.
The missing records included handwritten ledgers and receipts for money the agency received in 2000, 2001, and 2002. It also included reimbursement receipts from top elections officials who made personal calls on county cell phones.
The board discovered the records were missing after The Plain Dealer asked to review bills for cell phones used by top board officials. The cost for two top officials totaled $12,000 for a 17-month period, the newspaper said.
Tom Coyne, chairman of the elections board, said the board would discuss the report findings on Tuesday.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)