Ohioville Borough Leaks Audit Of Former Secretary/Treasurer’s Work

Ohioville Borough Council / Beaver Countian file photo by John Paul

Ohioville Borough Council / Beaver Countian file photo by John Paul

Ohioville Borough has leaked a partial audit they had conducted of work done by their former Secretary/Treasurer.

The Beaver Countian received an unsolicited copy of an audit conducted of Maureen Hapach’s work from an Ohioville Borough Councilperson last week. The Council member asked they not be identified by name. While this publication did not have a prior confidentiality agreement with the Councilperson before receiving the communication, the Beaver Countian has opted to honor the request for anonymity.

Maureen Hapach resigned in April following 12 years of service with the Borough. In a series of exclusive interviews subsequently published by the Beaver Countian, Hapach talked about discovering alleged fraud by the town’s former police chief, about retaliation by borough officials against the officer she went to for help, and about claims of her own mistreatment at the hands of the town’s solicitor.

“As a member of ohioville council, we have taken alot of grief about some of the recent events that have happened in the boro, [sic]” wrote the Councilperson in an email to the Beaver Countian, “i feel it is time to shine some light on the recent article about our former secretary. with in days of her resignation,we began to find letters,e-mails and past due notices from our business accounts,local,state and federal taxes and union contributions,etc. [sic]”

The audit conducted by Cottrill Arbutina & Associates detailed several key findings, including:

- Federal tax payments were past due through 6/30/2013 that resulted in penalties & interest being assessed against the Borough in the amount of $2,154.77
- Payments of Pennsylvania State Withholdings were not made between July 2013 and January 2014
- “In May 2014, Marueen Hapach did not deduct PA state tax or federal withholding from her last few pays. This is in violation of PA & federal laws.”
- PA unemployment tax payments were not made between 10/15/2013 and 3/6/2014. “The Unemployment Office says there is a credit of $174 but [QuickBooks] shows liabilities due.”
- “We verified with Berkheimer Tax Administrator that payments for local taxes deducted from employee’s pays hadn’t been paid since Feb 2012. [QuickBooks] shows payments made in 2013 but they haven’t cleared the bank as of the April 2014 bank stmt.”
- “Some employees didn’t have the correct wage tax resident municipality in [QuickBooks]. Employees will most likely be hearing from Berkheimer stating that they owe local taxes.”
- General fund bank statements were not reconciled since Feb 2014

For her part, Maureen Hapach told the Beaver Countian that Borough Officials are just trying to tarnish her reputation after she spoke out about alleged corruption taking place in the town. “If I was such a bad employee why did a group of Council members beg me to stay when I told them I was leaving,” said Hapach. “I was with the Borough for 12 years and the only problems they found happened after everything with [Chief Ron Lutton] started.”

“The only reason they’re doing this to me now is because I gave an interview to the Beaver Countian after I left and exposed everything that’s been happening to the public,” added Hapach.

While Hapach admitted that some state and federal filings were made late, she said it was because she was overwhelmed by the amount of work that needed done. “I am not trying to make excuses, it is what it is. I knew I was falling behind, I told Council I was falling behind [...] They did away with the two people who took care of things for the Water Authority, so I had all of that work dumped on me [...] then this stuff with [Chief Ron Lutton] happened and I had to go through years’ worth of timesheets for the District Attorney’s Office [...] I was the only one working fulltime, they didn’t make my Clerk fulltime until January of this year.”

Ohioville Borough does not have a manager, and along with being the Secretary and Treasurer, Hapach said she was also left to take care of the daily business of running a town.

“Then they say I didn’t take taxes out of my last few paychecks in May. Well guess what? I was gone in April. Those last few checks were for my unused sick time and vacation time. I didn’t write those checks, I didn’t sign those checks, I wasn’t working for the Borough. The new Treasurer is the one who cut those checks [...] They say I broke the law and made it sound like I was stealing because I didn’t take out taxes. Sorry that wasn’t me. [...] The new Treasurer didn’t know how to do payroll, they didn’t train her, they just gave it to her and told her to do it when I left.”

Hapach also said some of the problems with local wage taxes weren’t her fault either. “The law changed where the employer had to take wage taxes out for every municipality. We checked everybody’s address and made sure we had the right municipality listed for them, but if an employee moved and didn’t tell us, their old address would still be in the system. We had one officer that moved and didn’t tell us for over a year, he lived in Vanport and moved to Rochester. How is it my fault that he didn’t tell us that he moved?”

Maureen Hapach insisted all accounts were reconciled when she left the Borough. “They say the general fund bank statements weren’t reconciled since February of 2014. Well I was gone in April so that just leaves March that wasn’t reconciled. We hadn’t even gotten the bank statements for that month before I left, so there is no way it could have been reconciled [...] It’s just more nonsense they’re putting out there to try to make me look bad.”

The former treasurer also raised questions about the propriety of the audit. “It may be that some taxes were overpaid. But I’m not the one that set up that system, I’m not the one who programmed those rates into [QuickBooks]. We paid Cottrill Arbutina to do that,” said Hapach. “Cottrill Arbutina’s audit is finding some problems caused by [Cottrill Arbutina] and then blaming them on me [...] Maybe they should have had somebody else do this audit.”

Maureen Hapach compared the partial audit leaked by Ohioville Borough to a list of alleged departmental policy violations issued against Officer Nevin Beatty, the other Ohioville Borough employee who helped to expose alleged theft by former Chief Ronald Lutton. “They’re out to make us look bad, to dirty us up. But they can say what they want. Ron is the thief, not us. I hope people can see through this.”

Officer Nevin Beatty has been on an indefinite suspension from duty since March 17th. Beatty has state and federal lawsuits pending against Borough Officials alleging he was retaliated against for being a whistleblower.

Former Ohioville Borough Chief Ronald Lutton is currently awaiting a trial scheduled for September on 64 felony counts of forgery.

Ohioville Solicitor Paul Steff has repeatedly refused this publication’s requests for comment related to the Lutton matter or about allegations of retaliation against Borough employees. Steff has failed to return numerous messages left for him over the past year.

See Also: Exclusive Interview: Ohioville Borough Secretary Speaks Out About Corruption

 

23 comments

  1. Ohioville will never change

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  2. These people have no conscience. They better be careful though cause the roosters are coming home

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  3. Lucas Hill leaked them, he is buddies with beatty, so even the people leaking info has an personal agenda. Iys ohioville not new york city, people here are tired of the drama…beatty deserved to be let go..he had no respect for the people that lived in the boro…and he played favorites…obviously this guy is a problem cause this isnt the only place he caused drama…doest take a scientist to figure out who is doing what in a small town..especially leaking info.

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  4. thanks for telling the truth. scumbags running around thinking there shit don’t stink i can smell it from Industry .

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  5. To “me”. I am assuming that you are one of the corrupt counselman, the one that leaked this information! Just to make readers of the Beaver Countian think he was a bad guy and would be stupid enough to leak something that does not even prove anything. Maureen did not steal anything from Ohioville. The big picture is that Lutton is the only thief! And Beatty was honest and did the right thing by turning it in to the proper authorities. What kind of town do we live in where people protect the criminals? To “me” if you don’t like Beatty I am only to assume he got you for breaking the law OR you are the real counselman that wrote this to make Maureen, Beatty and Hall look bad cause you finally realized adter reading Maureen’s explanations that the counselmen that provided this information made you look like a “DICK”. everything was ezplained away as never happening, the computer system, or the same auditing company that you used years prior. Why was nothing caught prior years? The counselmen that turned this is needs to resign! Most of them do, exception the two new that just got elected. The other ones let Lutton still Ohioville’s tax money for years and never figured it out, he also was stealing State money by building up his retirement. But someone trys to put a cloud over that situation by making Maureen look bad and destroying Beatty’s career. I hope all of you can sleep good at night, when it all comes out, if I were you I would have a state of the art security system, a couple Rottweilers and sleep with a gun under your pillow. WTSHTF. Better yet move away, if us good hard working residents would prefer you all have 8X8 room that includes one steel bunkbed, toilet and no shoes or sheets? Lord knows we don’t want to take the easy way out cause you deserve to get a good 20 years and onl see a hour of sunlight a day. Sleep tight.

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    • No…his first few sentences were jibberish too…im no politician, but nice threat, the police loved it and have got your ip adress. I will be pressing charges.

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      • Oh stop lying to people.  The police do not have anyone’s IP addresses from here.  Only I have that information.

        truthnow’s comment was poorly written (and contained elements that were in bad taste) but it’s not criminal.  Good luck with “pressing charges.”

        A lot of nonsense going on here that appears to be a lousy attempt at instilling fear to quash dissent.

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      • @me: i have seen idiotic, fact-less, ignorant comments posted here to intentionally raise ire and sensationally get attention, but yours is among the best examples of public lying i have read to date. It’s irresponsible and utterly childish hate mongering — and you know that. I hope you are not involved in any decision-making locally, but that would help explain much of what we read here about local politics.  

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    • keepcalmandlawyerup

      “truthnow”- Be careful Kemosabe, google PA STA 18 2709.1, PA STA 18 2709(a) and 2709(f), Tonto is no lawyer/politician but thinks you may find it to be interesting reading.   Tonto

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      • Actually there was nothing at all interesting about reading those statutes.  

        Harassment and stalking?

        This is almost as asinine as the time Ohioville Mayor John Szatkiewicz contacted police and tried to have me charged with harassment for calling to get a comment about a story I was writing.

        http://beavercountian.com/content/daily/ohioville-mayor-files-harassment-complaint-against-beaver-countian

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      • keepcalmandlawyerup

         After re-reading the above statutes and reading some prior history on the subject of “true threats” and our First Amendment Rights to free speech, including a visit to the “First Amendment Center”, I agree that the statement in question was only “poorly written” and “contained elements that were in bad taste”, I stand corrected. T

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  6. you know these elected people need to seriously clean there own door step before they go leaking out other peoples dirty laundry .

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  7. signedepstiensmother

    Truthnow…..what the hell are you talking about? You made sense the first few sentences then it was all…..ramble, ramble, ramble, incoherent thought, ramble, nonsense, threat, blah, blah, huh?

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  8. Hapach should have some kind of whistleblower protections that keep her from being the target of retribution. Since those are being violated, it’s time for her to get a good lawyer and probably time for the anonymous councilman to go to jail. Stupid council for going there.

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  9. I wouldn’t believe anything Berkheimer says. So many people are having problems with them, it’s not even funny.

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  10. God, who cares. Small town gossip. Don’t give them all this attention.

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  11. The voters of Ohioville need to rise up and get these people out of office.

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  12. I do apologize for throwing names by assumption out..lucas hill i am sorry, just frustrated that this community that i love and live in is going through this…my family has been here for over 100 years..just want a good safe community for all of us..clearly though others don’t like what i said and that’s thier opinion, that’s what’s great about this beaver countian site, we have a chance to voice our opinions whether they are right or wrong…but to threaten like he did is far out of line. He was wrong about me on all accounts. Sadly on the day and age live on all threats are be taken seriously

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  13. SpeakTheTruthToo

    Based on the grammar and punctuation of that “Council” person’s email, you don’t have to be very smart or educated to get elected to Ohioville Council. Come on Ohioville! I know you can do better than this. Because of the way that email was written to JP, there was no way I could take this person’s allegations seriously. Anyone with half a brain can see right through this smokescreen.

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  14. A lot of people had complaints about Officer Beatty. I have seen on Facebook that a lot of residents didn’t like him because, “he was a prick.” Prick or no prick, he opened a can of worms on the corruption inside the borough council. It seems that some of the people of Ohioville just want things to go back to the way they were before all of this was made public. That would be the biggest assist in assuring that the corruption would continue. I grew up in Ohioville. I don’t live there now, but I still consider myself an Ohiovillien. The voters need to rise up against this council. This is YOUR town, not theirs. They work for you. I think its about time you start doing some firing. Thanks John Paul for staying with this story. Lord knows, the OTHER news publication in the county won’t.

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  15. Eat there hands !!

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  16. Well said joe

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