Ohio auditor: Prison staffers illegally spent $20,000

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Ohio's Auditor of State issued a report Tuesday, outlining charges of fraud and misuse of public funds by workers at a southern Ohio correctional facility.

In all, 11 directors and employees at the STAR Community Justice Center in Scioto County are accused of spending more than $20,000 in state money.  About half of that amount, says Ohio Auditor of State Dave Yost, involved illegal use of state money during 20 conferences, training seminars and meetings in cities like Las Vegas, Reno, Orlando and Pittsburgh. 

“These employees used conferences as a cover for their self-indulgent vacations,” Yost said in a press release.

“While the amounts may not be the highest we’ve seen, the egregious nature of what transpired is simply appalling – and at a correctional facility, no less,” Yost said. 

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation worked with Yost's office on a special audit launched in September of 2015.

The employees are being ordered to pay back the money.

“Of all places, the fact that these improper expenditures occurred at a correctional facility is particularly alarming,” Yost said. “The leaders of these facilities need to set a good example for inmates trying to get their lives back on track.”

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