Former Village of New Madison Fiscal Officer Wanda Lacey responsible for $8K in federal penalties


By Carolyn Harmon - charmon@dailyadvocate.com



NEW MADISON — State Auditor Dave Yost released the 2013 and 2014 audits Thursday that shows that former fiscal officer for the Village of New Madison, Wanda Lacey, was consistently late in remitting federal, state and school district income taxes, and filing quarterly tax reports during 2013 and 2014, resulting in sticking taxpayers with more than $8,000 in federal penalties.

“Although Lacey properly withheld the required taxes, she delayed paying federal withholdings for the second half of 2013 and all of 2014 until July 2015,” a formal release from the Auditor’s Office read. “By the end of 2014, the amount owed to the Internal Revenue Service had ballooned to $23,894 for back taxes, in addition to $8,166 in penalties and interest.”

“This fiscal officer forced taxpayers to shoulder the consequences of her negligence,” Auditor Yost wrote. “She could have avoided these penalties by simply doing her job.”

At the same time, the village sat on $3,362 in state and school district income taxes that Lacey withheld but failed to pay to the Ohio Department of Taxation, according to the audit. An $8,166 finding for recovery was filed against Lacey and her bonding company for the federal penalties and referred the state matters to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

“The payment of penalties and late charges is not considered to serve a proper public purpose and would have been avoided had the funds been remitted as required by law,” auditors wrote.

In addition to the nonpayment of taxes under Lacey’s watch, auditors wrote two and a half pages in the audit detailing over 20 errors of improper posting of funds to wrong village accounts.

The Village of New Madison’s Fiscal Officer Roberta Hocker said the village is aware of the findings.

“We are working to be in compliance with the state auditor’s office, and due to the ongoing investigation, cannot comment any further,” she said.

During the February 27 council meeting, Hocker said the state auditor’s office had put the village on a monitoring program. Under the program, a state auditor has been assisting the village as a free service since March.

In December 2016, an indictment was filed against Lacey by prosecutors in Darke County Common Pleas Court, charging her with theft from office, a third-degree felony. Court records, however, show the state filed to dismiss the indictment September 25. The grand jury transcript was ordered sealed October 4.

By Carolyn Harmon

charmon@dailyadvocate.com

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.

The writer may be reached at 937-569-4354. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.