This press release is for the benefit of the citizens of Bellaire and is in response to the misinformation being provided to the local media by
As Mayor, I have issued a gag order on all Village officials and
employees so that a fair and impartial investigation can continue to develop
regarding discrepancies in the water department's financial records.
The Village government goes well beyond State requirements to audit
its financial affairs. A village is only required to be audited every two years.
Bellaire opts, at an additional cost, to be audited annually. The benefit of an annual audit is that bookkeeping discrepancies can be detected sooner rather than later.
Council and myself review the Village's financial affairs on a monthly basis. In early February of this year when the Village of Bellaire's Auditor's Office observed a trend of decreasing revenues in the water department records, I requested that the Village's computer software company provide information to our Auditor.
The Village of Bellaire's Auditor's Office worked daily and into the evenings for
approximately 3 weeks, but was unable to determine the source of the
The Village thereafter immediately requested the State Auditor's
Office to conduct an independent audit of the Village's water department
The audit commenced in early March 2012, and as a result, its
findings were reported to the State Auditor's Office, after which an
investigation was commenced and is ongoing.
Village officials understand that as public officers, they have little if
any recourse when subjected to libelous and/or slanderous comments.
This press release is not an attempt by the Village government to
respond to irresponsible comments, but is for the purpose of protecting the
good name and reputation of the Village's employees who remain working
in the water department after being subjected to ridicule.
Village officials emphatically state that those Village employees,
presently working in the water department, are worthy public servants and
should be recognized as such.
Mayor Vince DiFabrizio
Village of Bellaire, Ohio