Troy changes internal controls following $267K theft from Hobart Arena

The Ohio State Auditor’s office released a 2020 calendar year audit for the city of Troy with a finding of recovery resulting from the theft of more than a quarter of a million dollars by a former employee at the city-owned Hobart Arena.

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The Ohio State Auditor’s office released a 2020 calendar year audit for the city of Troy with a finding of recovery resulting from the theft of more than a quarter of a million dollars by a former employee at the city-owned Hobart Arena.

The Ohio State Auditor’s office released a 2020 calendar year audit for the city of Troy with a finding of recovery resulting from the theft of more than a quarter of a million dollars by a former employee at the city-owned Hobart Arena.

The state auditor’s office noted that the finding was issued following a review of an independent audit of city finances by Plattenburg & Associates Inc. of Dayton.

The lone finding involved a Miami County judge’s order of restitution of $267,000 against Cheryl Terry, former city recreational department office manager, who was convicted last year in Common Pleas Court of felony theft in office.

ExploreRELATED: Woman who stole $250K from Hobart Arena gets 60 days in jail

The finding for recovery was “for public property converted or misappropriated … in the amount of $267,000 against Cheryl Terry and her bonding company, Gallagher Bassett, jointly and severally, and in favor of the Hobart Arena fund,” state Auditor Keith Faber wrote in a letter to the mayor and city council.

The report’s documents included a summary of prior audit finding that “the design or operation of internal controls at Hobart Arena did not allow management or employees to prevent the theft.” The report states the finding was corrected by the city, but did not detail how this was accomplished.

City Auditor John Frigge provided the following explanation.

“In 2017, after our extensive renovation of Hobart Arena, we (the city) took over the concessions portion of the events at the Arena. One person was in charge of the receipts and the deposits of various income sources, some of which were not receipted into our ‘point of sale’ accounting program, as we were getting adjusted to this new system,” he said.

“All income is now receipted into this system and dual controls have been implemented for all income and resulting deposits. All other income in our various deposit areas is under dual control, minimizing the opportunity for misappropriations. This point of sale system is in place throughout the rest of the city,” Frigge said.

ExploreRELATED: Woman pleads guilty to stealing $267K from Hobart Arena

Terry, 60, whose address is listed in court documents as Tipp City, was sentenced to five years of community control, restitution and 60 days in the county jail last October by Judge Stacy Wall.

Terry told Wall she stole from the city because she was given more work but never received comparable compensation. Police said Terry took money from various funds at the recreation office in the Hobart Arena and deposited it in a bank account she had with a relative. Terry said the relative was unaware of the thefts that charges said occurred between early 2017 and early 2020.

A court order signed by Wall in April directs the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System to withhold from Terry’s accumulated contributions the amount of her monthly benefit plus any cost of living adjustment and send the money to the Clerk of Courts to be paid toward the restitution order.

The city so far has received $35,970.08 and is still working with its insurance company on a claim for the balance, less the deductible, and is receiving the monthly payments from Terry at this point, Frigge said. The Finding for Recovery has been filed by the state auditor and the city has filed a demand for payment.

“With the exception of the unfortunate crime committed by a long-time employee, our 2020 audit continues the longstanding tradition of excellent stewardship of taxpayer dollars. Kudos to the city auditor and administrative staff for finding this criminal activity as quickly as they did,” said Patrick Titterington, the city service and safety director.

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