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Tues. 10:50 a.m.: Auditor issues $8,000 finding against Falls fire district

NEWTON FALLS – A state audit of the Newton Falls Joint Fire District uncovered that former fiscal officer, Joseph Sosnowski, incurred $8,043 in penalties and late fees for failing to remit pension contributions and pay lease and loan obligations on time.

The audit was released today by Auditor of State Keith Faber.

“Taxpayers funding a fire district expect that money to go toward public safety not late fees,” Auditor Faber said in a prepared statement. “Late fees are easily avoidable expenses that taxpayers should not be responsible for paying.”

In 2016, the fire district was assessed a total of $431 in penalties for late payments on an equipment lease and late payments to the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System, according to a press release.

In 2017, the fire district accrued $7,228 in penalties and interest for late payments to the Internal Revenue Service. Also in that year, the fire district was charged $278 for late payments on an equipment lease, $100 for a late payment on a building renovation loan, and $6 for a late payment to the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System. In total, the fire district paid $8,043 in late fees, penalties, and interest during the period auditors examined.

In accordance with these facts, Auditor Faber has issued an $8,043 finding for recovery for public monies illegally expended against Sosnowski and in favor of the fire district.

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