You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

State forces audit on Union Club

Some leaders of Springfield group had fought for full financial accounting.


The state is requiring the Union Club of Springfield to conduct a full audit after a recent snapshot of the charity’s finances raised red flags.

In a letter dated Tuesday from the office of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, the decades-old local institution will have until Jan. 30 to complete an audit.

The Springfield News-Sun reported Tuesday on its website that the Union Club had, with the blessing of Associate Assistant Attorney General Meghan Fowler, submitted a balance sheet prepared by a Springfield accounting firm in lieu of an audit required in the terms of a settlement agreement with the state.

That balance sheet showed the club has $951,732 less than it did at the end of 2011, when it last filed with the IRS. It also showed that $260,479 had been transferred to three non-club accounts the day before DeWine cleaned house with a state-ordered emergency election in February to replace club trustees.

In the new letter to the club’s attorney, Fowler lists those two items among “several areas for concern.”

The club, 139 W. High St., gives away thousands annually in scholarships with money it makes, in part, through one of the five most lucrative tear-off bingo operations in Ohio.

How to get back in the good graces of the state after DeWine’s office earlier this year found alleged violations of fiduciary duties by former trustees and violations of state law at the club, including the operation of slot machines, has pitted new trustees against each other.

“A full audit is all we want,” Robert “Flash” Whitaker, the club’s vice president, reiterated Wednesday.

“I’ve only been in office for five months and this stuff has floored me,” he added. “This is crazy. They seem to want to run the club the same as the old trustees, and we can’t have that.”

Whitaker is among three new trustees who filed a motion to intervene in June to force the club to complete the independent audit required in the settlement.

Dan Harkins, the Springfield attorney representing Whitaker, Harold Pounds and Larry Vince, said Wednesday it hasn’t been decided whether his clients will withdraw their motion now that the state has required an audit.

Harkins did, however, say that the attorney general’s office “instead of demanding accountability has enabled delay.”

Originally, an audit was to have been done by next Tuesday.

In her letter, Fowler explained that she instead agreed to a balance sheet citing the current state of the club’s books, which would have prohibited a full audit within a six-month period. But, she wrote, any red flags would still trigger an audit.

Jerry Numbers, the club’s president, said Wednesday he felt that if they could save thousands by not doing an audit, the community would be better for it.

“It’s a shame you’re spending money when you could be giving it to local charities in Clark County,” Numbers said.

He said there are good explanations for the state’s areas of concern, including the depreciation of property and losses in investments.

The money transferred to non-club accounts the day before the special election was part of a deferred compensation plan established in 2009 for three retired club employees, he said.

“When they moved it the day before the election, it did look funny,” Numbers confessed.

But, he added, “From the looks of it, it was done properly.”

Numbers said he wants the club to move forward.

“Whatever the state wants to do,” he said, “we’re going to do it.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Community News

'Zoolander 2,' 'Batman v Superman' top Razzie nominations for worst in film
'Zoolander 2,' 'Batman v Superman' top Razzie nominations for worst in film

A day before Academy Award nominations showcased the best in film, the people behind what they deemed "this year's tackiest Tinsel Town trophy" announced the contenders for the worst in 2016 cinema. The Golden Raspberry Award Foundation on Monday announced the nominees for its nine categories. The nominees will learn on Feb. 25 whether...
NEW DETAILS: Fairgrounds purchase approved
NEW DETAILS: Fairgrounds purchase approved

Montgomery County has agreed to give the University of Dayton and Premier Health $2 million if they buy the county fairgrounds and retain and redevelop the historic roundhouse. Last month, UD and Premier Health signed a letter of intent to purchase the Montgomery County Fairgrounds on South Main Street for $15 million. The institituions agreed to fork...
‘Twenty One Pilots’ rehearses at Wright State
‘Twenty One Pilots’ rehearses at Wright State

‘Twenty One Pilots’ — the hit Ohio-based band that climbed the charts last year — rehearsed its pyrotechnics display at the Wright State University Nutter Center last month, according to Fairborn’s fire chief. What to do: Visit Dayton.com for the latest local entertainment news Chief Mike Riley said the members of the...
Police: Florida man kills stepson after arguing about chili dog
Police: Florida man kills stepson after arguing about chili dog

A Florida man shot and killed his stepson Monday in a fight over a chili dog and an argument over what time it was, police said. Police said Danny Holder, 68, shot and killed his stepson, Randall Lowen, 55, in the family home in Port Orange at approximately 8 a.m. Lowen’s mother told police that Holder threatened to shoot Lowen ...
Prehistoric otter with wicked teeth, powerful jaws once roamed Earth
Prehistoric otter with wicked teeth, powerful jaws once roamed Earth

An unusual skull discovered at a dig in southwestern China in 2010 has now been identified as that of a fierce, wolf-like animal that roamed the Earth more than 6 million years ago, weighing about 100 pounds, with large, sharp teeth and powerful jaws. The newly discovered species is a prehistoric otter and an ancestor to the modern-day otter, but it...
More Stories