A high Cleveland official should repay tens of 1000’s of she collected as a member of the Higher Cleveland Regional Transit Authority board, the state auditor stated Thursday.
RTA trustee Valarie McCall, who additionally serves as Mayor Frank Jackson’s chief of governmental affairs, improperly obtained $57,200 from the transit authority, Ohio Auditor Keith Faber discovered in a newly released audit.
Though board members are entitled to a $400 month-to-month stipend, McCall ought to have gone unpaid as a result of she served on the board in her capability as a metropolis official, Faber discovered.
“Ms. McCall was appointed as an worker of town and in looking for cost, she was successfully receiving double compensation,” Faber said in a Thursday news release.
Faber additionally discovered RTA’s former secretary-treasurer and board president chargeable for the reimbursement.
In an emailed assertion, McCall’s legal professional, Jon Pinney, questioned why RTA had authorised the funds within the first place, solely to lift questions on them later.
“The RTA compensated Board members pursuant to its bylaws for over 30 years,” Pinney wrote. “Ms. McCall was no exception. It is vitally troubling that RTA licensed and issued the board stipend to Ms. McCall after which subsequently raised the matter to the Ohio Auditor. It’s much more troubling that she has apparently been singled out by RTA. We’re happy that the Auditor discovered RTA’s former officers collectively and severally chargeable for reimbursing the RTA and look ahead to resolving this matter swiftly.”
McCall’s 2006 board appointment letter stipulated that she not be compensated, although subsequent letters didn’t handle her pay, in keeping with the audit.
RTA didn’t pay McCall till 2014, when she requested again pay and obtained $35,600, the audit says. She then obtained a month-to-month stipend till 2018.
In a press release launched Thursday afternoon, RTA Board President Dennis Clough stated he agreed with the auditor’s findings.
“We’re desperate to see that taxpayers’ cash be returned to RTA,” Clough, the mayor of Westlake, stated within the assertion. “Vital steps are being taken to get better the cash.”
Faber’s audit additionally discovered that former board president George Dixon III should repay $132,000 in unpaid healthcare benefits. Dixon pleaded responsible to theft in workplace in late 2019, in reference to the advantages, and a choose already ordered him to return the cash as a part of his sentence.