By: Geauga Taxpayer
When Prosecutor James Flaiz and his investigator, Richard Warner, flew to Texas for a one day interview of the defendants in the Geauga County Auditor embezzlement scandal, Flaiz refused to have to change planes. So he did what any self-serving politician would do. Instead of getting them each $500 tickets, he got non-stop flights that cost us $2,405.20.
Add a one-day car rental cost of $125.65, hotel rooms at $247.70 and dinner at the airport before their trip.
The trip was February 20-21, 2018. Since no receipts are included for the 21st, it can easily be assumed that they got a complimentary breakfast and the defendants from ITERSource, picked up the tab for wining and dining on the 21st. Their plane did not leave to return to Cleveland until 7:50 p.m. Flaiz then paid $32 for parking.
So where do we stand with the cost of the embezzlement to-date? Keep in mind it is still not concluded. Defendant Eugene Krus from ITERSource is scheduled for a hearing next year, William Kelly, from the same company, was dismissed for no good reason. Flaiz said Kelly did not work there when the embezzlement began but taped interviews say otherwise.
The embezzlement cost taxpayers $2.4 from June 2010 to September 2017. Flaiz kept telling the media it was $1.7. He was alerted to missing money twenty-six times between June 2014 and March 2016 by a former county employee. During that time period, $1.2 million was lost when Flaiz did not respond to the repeated warnings.
Forensic accountant Skoda-Minotti cost the county in excess of $166,000, attorney fees exceed $84,000, and are still climbing, and add the Flaiz trip to Texas, which could have been done on Skype.
For a grand total, for now, of about $2.528 million, not the $1.7 million figure Flaiz kept spouting. Is Flaiz personally responsible for about half of the entire amount?
And what does Ohio law say about a prosecutor’s lack of response to warnings of missing money?
ORC 3.07 Misconduct in office – forfeiture.
Any person holding office in this state, or in any municipal corporation, county, or subdivision thereof, coming within the official classification in Section 38 of Article II, Ohio Constitution, who willfully and flagrantly exercises authority or power not authorized by law, refuses or willfully neglects to enforce the law or to perform any official duty imposed upon him by law, or is guilty of gross neglect of duty, gross immorality, drunkenness, misfeasance, malfeasance, or nonfeasance is guilty of misconduct in office. Upon complaint and hearing in the manner provided for in sections 3.07 to 3.10, inclusive, of the Revised Code, such person shall have judgment of forfeiture of said office with all its emoluments entered thereon against him, creating thereby in said office a vacancy to be filled as prescribed by law. The proceedings provided for in such sections are in addition to impeachment and other methods of removal authorized by law, and such sections do not divest the governor or any other authority of the jurisdiction given in removal proceedings.