Audit finds overpayments to ex-treasurer

A state audit of the Liberty Local School District revealed today that overpayments were made toward the retirement of the district’s former treasurer.

The audit states that although Tracey Obermiyer’s contract for 2001-02 allowed the district to contribute more toward her retirement, subsequent contracts “did not contain any such language” allowing the excess payments, resulting in overpayments of $12,720.

Obermiyer, according to the audit, received school board paid “pickup on pickup” of 15.4 percent and 11 percent, which is 2.4 percent in excess of the district pickup payments to her School Employee Retirement System (SERS) account.

The 2001-02 contract allowed for the additional payments, but the agreements from 2003-11 did not, causing overpayments of $7,547 by the employer and her to overpay $5,173.

Employers are required to contribute 14 percent toward employee retirements and employees, 10 percent, but Ohio law lets the employer make additional contributions.

“While excess payments may be permitted, there is no record of board approval for the additional SERS pick up paid on behalf of former Treasurer Tracey Obermiyer, in the minutes or in the payroll files of the employee,” the audit states.

The finding could be passed along to the Trumbull County Prosecutor’s Office, something that has been a standard practice for findings for recovery.

The report was available on the Ohio Auditor’s website at midnight. Because of the lateness, the Tribune Chronicle was unable to reach out to the district or Obermiyer for comment.

A spokeswoman from the auditor’s office said Monday that she could not comment until today, when the audit findings were made public.

District Superintendent Stan Watson said Monday that he did not have information on the matter.

Obermiyer was caught up in another state audit, this one from last year that revealed she paid herself nearly $5,000 for work at the district’s former charter school.

The case was presented to a grand jury, which chose not to press criminal charges.

The county prosecutor’s office reviewed the matter to see if the money could have been recovered through a civil channel, but it did not follow through when case law revealed that because the payment was apparently made in good faith, it was not recoverable.