Brice Audit Cites Incomplete Speeding Ticket Records, Improper Sale of Borrowed Handgun

Ohio Auditor's picture
Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Columbus – The Village of Brice (Franklin County) failed to maintain records needed for state auditors to verify the accuracy of its reported speeding ticket revenue from 2016.

An audit of the village released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost also holds a former police chief accountable for the unauthorized sale of a gun that was on loan from the federal government.

The village of 120 people reported $171,611 in collections from speed camera citations during 2016. The amount made up 73 percent of the village’s general fund and 55 percent of its governmental activities revenue for the year. 

As part of the village’s collection process, Police Chief Bud Bauchmoyer reviews speed camera photos for quality before approving the usable images for submission to the village’s third-party collection agencies. 

But Bauchmoyer never kept a record of which images he approved for collection, making it impossible for auditors to validate the reported revenue amount.

“A prudent police chief would keep a complete record of every citation, especially given the level of scrutiny placed on the village’s ticketing practices,” Auditor Yost said. “Without an intact paper trail, we can’t give taxpayers assurance that this amount is accurate.”

In an unrelated finding, auditors determined that one of Bauchmoyer’s predecessors, former Police Chief Christopher Stets, owes the village $1,000 for financial losses resulting from the sale of a borrowed handgun.

The pistol was one of two firearms on loan to the village’s police department by the U.S. Defense Logistics Agency. When the agency contacted the village in 2014 to confirm it still had the guns, only one was found. 

Using the gun’s serial number, the federal government tracked the missing pistol to a man who purchased it in 2011 from an Ashland gun shop. The gun was confiscated, prompting the man who bought it to request a $1,000 reimbursement from the village. 

Village council agreed in July 2015 to reimburse the man despite never authorizing the initial sale and having no record of any profit. Auditors issued a $1,000 finding for recovery against Stets because he was responsible for the gun’s safekeeping.

A full copy of this report is available online.

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The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies.  Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.

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