Mecca suing for money lost under ex-fiscal officer

WARREN — Mecca trustees are suing an insurance company and their former fiscal officer in an attempt to regain funds the township lost while its books were unauditable, according to a suit filed in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court.

The suit states Travelers Insurance issued a bond of up to $135,000 in 2016 for Deborah Drawl after she was elected fiscal officer. The suit is requesting $25,000 and as much as $135,000.

Drawl began her term as township fiscal officer in April 2016 and was removed from the elected position Feb. 1, 2018, by Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Judge Andrew D. Logan.

Because Drawl did not “faithfully perform” her duties as fiscal officer, the township incurred late fees on their accounts, audit fees that occured when the township was found to be “inauditable,” charges for forensic auditing and accounting work to correct the books, unnecessary banking fees and other costs — including attorney fees — associated with her removal, according to the court documents.

“The harm, injury and damage sustained by the plaintiffs were the direct and proximate result of the nonfeasance, misfeasance or malfeasance of (Drawl) during the course of her service as Mecca Township fiscal officer,” the suit states.

Attempts to reach Drawl were unsuccessful.

The township submitted a claim to Travelers Insurance to recoup the losses, but the company turned down the claim in February, stating the expenses did “not trigger an obligation under the bond,” the complaint states.

Drawl was accused of keeping books that were unauditable because of incomplete information, seemingly random numbers added to “plug” the budget and failing to get the books straight after several opportunities and offers for help.

The Ohio auditor’s office warned the township that its books were unauditable and township trustees and about 20 residents signed affidavits to have Drawl removed from office, claiming she was not doing her job.

The removal was held up in appeal.