Charges against former New Madison fiscal officer dropped

NEW MADISON – Though she is ordered to repay more than $8,000 – criminal charges against former Village of New Madison fiscal officer Wanda Lacey have been dismissed.

An audit released Thursday by Auditor of State Dave Yost shows that Wanda Lacey was consistently late in remitting federal, state and school district income taxes, and filing quarterly tax reports during 2013 and 2014.

Although Lacey properly withheld the required taxes, she delayed paying federal withholdings for the second half of 2013 and all of 2014 until July 2015. By the end of 2014, the amount owed to the IRS had ballooned to $23,894 for back taxes, in addition to $8,166 in penalties and interest.

“This fiscal officer forced taxpayers to shoulder the consequences of her negligence,” Ohio Auditor Dave Yost said in a press release. “She could have avoided these penalties by simply doing her job.”

At the same time, the village sat on $3,362 in state and school district income taxes that Lacey withheld but failed to pay to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

Auditors issued an $8,166 finding for recovery against Lacey and her bonding company for the federal penalties and referred the state matters to the Ohio Department of Taxation.

“The payment of penalties and late charges is not considered to serve a proper public purpose and would have been avoided had the funds been remitted as required by law,” auditors wrote.

Lacey was previously indicted and arraigned on one count of Theft in Office, a felony of the fourth degree. Normally a felony of the fifth degree, the charge is more severe due to the total amount being more than $7,500.

According to Lacey’s attorney Royce A. Link, she filed a suit in the Ohio Court of Claims on Oct. 25 for malicious criminal prosecution, defamation and infliction of emotional distress.

At this time, Lacey is considering bringing additional claims for constitutional violations based on the conduct of State Auditor Investigators which the Darke County Common Pleas Court called a – “patent violation of Defendant’s constitutional rights”, according to Link.

Darke County Prosecuting Attorney Kelly Ormsby could not be reached for a statement at the time of this report.

See full report for the State Auditor’s office at ohioauditor.gov/auditsearch/detail.aspx?ReportID=132204

 

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