Greenville and county townships cited for public records violations


Staff report



Advocate photo State auditors issued 321 public records-related citations to 267 public entities in calendar year 2017 – a 22 percent drop in citations from the prior year. The majority of citations stemmed from officials neglecting to attend state-required public records training, entities lacking public records policies or a failure to make the policy readily available to employees and the general public

Advocate photo State auditors issued 321 public records-related citations to 267 public entities in calendar year 2017 – a 22 percent drop in citations from the prior year. The majority of citations stemmed from officials neglecting to attend state-required public records training, entities lacking public records policies or a failure to make the policy readily available to employees and the general public


COLUMBUS – State auditors issued 321 public records-related citations to 267 public entities in calendar year 2017 – a 22 percent drop in citations from the prior year, Auditor of State Dave Yost announced as part of Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness of the importance of open government and public records.

In all, about 5.5 percent of the 4,803 financial audits issued in 2017 included citations for noncompliance with public records-related requirements. The prior year, 8 percent of the 4,446 audits released included noncompliance citations.

The majority of citations stemmed from officials neglecting to attend state-required public records training, entities lacking public records policies or a failure to make the policy readily available to employees and the general public. Auditors routinely review public records practices during audits.

In Darke County, Greenville Union Cemetery was cited for “availability of public records and policies related thereto;” The City of Greenville received two citations for “Public Records Training and availability of public records and policies related thereto;” Neave Township received two citations for “Public Records Training and availability of public records and policies related thereto;” and Adams Township received a citation for “availability of public records and policies related thereto.”

In 2016, there were 414 citations issued to 357 entities by state auditors for public records-related matters, meaning citations decreased by more than 22 percent in 2017.

“I can understand a bookkeeping error – mistakes happen,” Auditor Yost said. “But there’s no justification for violating the clear law of public records.”

“Message to public officials: These are not your records. Do whatever it takes to comply with this law: Put up a sign. Post it on social media,” Yost said. “These are public records, and it is the law.”

While townships represented 13.7 percent of the 4,803 reports released in 2017, they represented 27.4 percent of the public record citations. Similarly, villages represented 7.8 percent of reports, but were responsible for 29.2 percent of citations. The entities most cited:

  • Townships – 13.7 percent of all reports released; 27 percent of all entities cited
  • Villages – 7.8 percent of all reports released; 29 percent of all entities cited
  • Police/Fire/EMS and Ambulance districts – 1.4 percent of all reports released; 7 percent of all entities cited
  • Cities – 6 percent of all reports released; 6.5 percent of all entities cited
  • School Districts – 16.7 percent of all reports released; 5 percent of all entities cited
  • Counties – 2 percent of all reports released; 4.7 percent of all entities cited
  • Community Schools – 7.6 percent of all reports released; 4 percent of all entities cited

Advocate photo State auditors issued 321 public records-related citations to 267 public entities in calendar year 2017 – a 22 percent drop in citations from the prior year. The majority of citations stemmed from officials neglecting to attend state-required public records training, entities lacking public records policies or a failure to make the policy readily available to employees and the general public
https://www.dailyadvocate.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/34/2018/03/web1_C141QP37014C.jpgAdvocate photo State auditors issued 321 public records-related citations to 267 public entities in calendar year 2017 – a 22 percent drop in citations from the prior year. The majority of citations stemmed from officials neglecting to attend state-required public records training, entities lacking public records policies or a failure to make the policy readily available to employees and the general public

Staff report