GILMAN — The Ford-Iroquois Public Health Department board plans to do a forensic audit of the agency's finances for fiscal year 2012, board member Rod Copas said this week, after a member of a watchdog group accused an employee of grant fraud and said he had the documents to prove it.
Kirk Allen, who co-owns the nonprofit Edgar County Watchdogs website, offered to show the board documents that he says prove the local health department's tobacco coordinator, Julie Clark, misled state public health department officials when she applied for annual grants to subsidize the tobacco program employees' salaries.
Allen said grant applications he obtained show Clark had listed several persons as working for the program, yet time cards revealed that some did not work for the program and that some were no longer employed by the health department when the applications were sent. The applications requested funds to subsidize a portion of each person's salary.
Terry Eimen, environmental health coordinator, was listed on an application for a tobacco grant in 2011, which asked for $1,189 to cover time spent by Eimen working for the program.
"The last time I worked on that program was back in 2008," Eimen said this week. "I didn't know I was listed. I had no clue."
Copas responded to Allen's comments by reassuring him that the board is "looking at a forensic audit for the 2012 year" and will discuss the audit further at the board's Sept. 16 meeting.