Audit finds possible embezzlement

MARTINS FERRY The city’s utility department is currently being investigated by the state auditor’s office for the possibility of embezzlement. Mayor Paul Riethmiller confirmed in a statement that the matter has been ongoing since last month and qualifies as a federal investigation

“We are aware of the continuing federal investigation by the state auditor’s office. We are cooperating 100-percent with their investigation. However, since it is an ongoing investigation, until we have a final report in our possession, we will have no further comment at this time.”

He noted that some red flags were raised as a result of the yearly audit. The audit company found a discrepancy and turned the matter over the state.

Riethmiller added that the city does not know when the investigation will be complete. If necessary, the results of the investigation will be turned over to the county prosecutor. He said as of now, no charges have been pressed or indictments made.

“Until we’re given the paperwork, at this time no employees have been disciplined,” he said.

“No one we know of has been named.”

The state auditor’s office was contacted but could not comment by deadline.

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