AKRON, OH (WOIO) - At a press conference Friday, Akron Mayor Plusquellic announced that the fiscal audit investigation by Summit County's Internal Audit Department and the criminal investigation by the City of Akron Police Department into the handling of cash transactions by employees in the City's recreation department have turned up instances of the misuse of funds.
"Earlier this year, it came to our attention that employees at some of our recreation centers may not be handling cash transactions in accordance with our established procedures and the City Charter," said Mayor Plusquellic.
"We first notified the police and asked for an investigation into the matter, and then we entered into an agreement with Summit County internal auditors to review what had transpired."
So far, the Internal Auditors, who were hired to complete a fiscal audit of the City's recreation bureau and issue findings and recommendations, have released a preliminary draft report. The Akron Police Department is also continuing their criminal investigation which has uncovered some instances of employee theft.
As a result of Summit County's audit and the APD's criminal investigation, three people were identified to have taken City funds for their personal use. Those three individuals have terminated their employment with, and restitution is being made for, those amounts taken. Additionally, the Recreation Bureau Manager was demoted, received 20 days suspension, and was moved to another department.
"I made the decision early on in the investigation that if money was actually stolen, those employees involved in the theft would be terminated from employment with the City," said Mayor Plusquellic. "Likewise, any employee who violated City procedures, but did not take anything of value (i.e., money) from our citizens, would be appropriately disciplined. Although our investigations are not complete, you can see that we are taking swift action as people, crimes, and misconduct are identified."
The following actions were taken:
Terminated employment with the City and agreed to pay $6,000.00 in restitution.
Terminated employment with the City.
Terminated employment with the City and agreed to pay $800.00 in restitution.
Greg Kalail, Recreation Bureau Manager
Took a voluntary demotion, received discipline of 20 days suspension, and was transferred to a different department within the City.
"As you can see, we have taken action against those that were identified in any misconduct or criminal behavior. We take these matters very seriously and will continue to monitor and take appropriate measures as the dual investigations proceed," said Mayor Plusquellic.
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Joanne Brieding, Recreation Supervisor II.
Nicki Taylor, Seasonal Summer Recreational Specialist.