Substitute Senate Bill 6, the latest anti-corruption legislation carried by Senator Tim Schaffer (R–Lancaster), was unanimously passed by the Ohio Senate today.

Also known as the “Fiscal Officer Integrity Act,” the legislation sets up a civil process to remove reckless government fiscal officers and requires continuing education for other fiscal officers.

“Our communities across the state owe a great deal of gratitude to our local government fiscal officers who keep our local governments running,” Schaffer said. “But since they are so important to our communities, citizens need to be able to take proper action when reckless behavior occurs, while still preserving due process rights.”

Auditor Dave Yost worked closely with Senator Schaffer on drafting the legislation.

“Today the Senate has put Ohio’s local governments one step closer to greater financial accountability,” Auditor Yost said. “I look forward to working with the House of Representatives to take the next step."

The bill is in response to cases of fiscal officers stealing or mishandling taxpayer dollars, most notably a case in Stark County where the deputy county treasurer was convicted of stealing $2.8 million in public funds. The elected county treasurer was held responsible for the misconduct in his office and was removed. The removal was later ruled unconstitutional due to a lack of due process given to the treasurer. Sub. Senate Bill 6 will provide multiple steps of due process while also providing a tool for removing corrupt or reckless officials.

The bill will also establish training programs for township fiscal officers, who currently are not required to have any experience or practical knowledge of accounting or ethics standards.

“The portion of the bill concerning training will help our local fiscal officers better serve their constituents,” Schaffer said. “It will provide continuing education and assist in professional development.”

The bill passed by a vote of 32-0 and will now move to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.

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