Blade uses public records to show concerns around high costs of Maumee court audit

From The Blade

A Maumee Municipal Court audit launched in response to suspected theft by an employee will cost nearly five times more than the city's separate audit already in progress.

The Blade, through a public records request, obtained a letter of engagement between the court and the Maumee-based accounting firm Gilmore Jasion Mahler. The five-page letter outlines services to be performed at a rate of $245 per hour.

The letter is dated Oct. 19 and was signed Oct. 20 by clerk of court Frank Frey. Former court employee Jane Monroe was indicted on seven felonies Oct. 6. She’s accused of stealing more than $30,000 from her employer. The court was notified by Maumee Police of potential theft in September.

Mayor Richard Carr has been frustrated with several elements of the court's response.

"They were told about the theft in their court on Sept. 21," Mayor Carr said. "They knew nothing about it for 41 days, and then it takes them another month to even enter into an agreement to have an audit done to find out how the money was stolen."

The first page of the letter states the report "will contain a statement that is intended solely for the use of the court." Mayor Carr has stated from the beginning he wanted the court to use the Ohio State Auditor's office to ensure transparency and guarantee city officials could see the findings.

Mayor Carr said the court has not been willing to share information in the past, such as redacting specific services on bills council is essentially forced to pay.

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