News

Below are recent press releases.

October 1, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Chardon, OH 44024-1293
October, 2019

Chardon, OH Geauga County

# 1 DOG CONTEST

Geauga County Auditor Charles E. Walder continues the mission to find the #1 dog in Geauga County for 2020.  To kick off the 2020 dog registration, the Geauga County Auditor’s Office is having a “#1 Dog Contest” for all 4th and 5th graders in the county.

Auditor Walder asks that a short essay be sent to his office or emailed to 2019firstdog@co.geauga.oh.us by October 25, 2019 explaining why they think their dog is the #1 dog in the county.  Representatives from the Geauga and Burton Public Libraries and the Geauga County Auditor’s office will judge the essays on November 4th.  The winner will receive the #1 lifetime dog tag for 2020 from Auditor Walder on December 2, 2019.

For more information please go to the Auditor’s website at http://www.auditor.co.geauga.oh.us and click on #1 Dog Contest”.  Information is also available at all public libraries in Geauga County or by contacting the Auditor’s Office at 440-285-2222, 564-7131, or 834-1856 extension 1614 or directly at 440-279-1614.  Good luck and remember, “Next to our owner, a license is a dog’s best friend.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GEAUGA IT CENTER FIXES E-MAIL OUTAGE

CHARDON, OHIO, December 12, 2018 — Geauga County Auditor Charles E. Walder announced today that the Geauga Automatic Data Processing Center (“ADP”) restored e-mail service to county offices and other public entities after a December 5, 2018 outage.

“Due to the efforts of ADP’s diligent staff, most Geauga County e-mail traffic was restored late on December 6, 2018.”  Auditor Walder said.  “We appreciate their hard work.”

The outage lasted roughly 36 hours and stemmed from two unrelated events.  First, a county employee sent a series of e-mail messages with extraordinarily large attachments (1.8 GB and 540 MB) multiple times.  Soon after, another county employee sent a group e-mail message

containing attachments totaling 304 MB each to 269 recipients.  The e-mails compounded, triggering an anomaly on Geauga County’s e-mail server that caused transport service to go offline.

“These e-mails became the perfect storm.” Auditor Walder said.  “They created a tremendous bottleneck and overwhelmed our server.  Combined, they equate to approximately 734,000 normally-sized email.”

To fix the problem, ADP staff had to work through clearing e-mail queues and backlogs.  As a result, there may be some e-mail loss during the affected period.

“Those of us with technology field experience take for granted common sense rules for using tools like e-mail, especially when it involves internal users to our system and large file transmission.”  Auditor Walder said.   “Going forward, we have already limited message attachment size and are considering restricting group messaging activity.”

“It would also help to have electronic communication training and instruction for county employees.  We encourage all Geauga County departments to educate their employees on email do’s and don’ts to reduce these types of issues.”

ADP is Geauga  County’s information technology center, and is led by  Co-Directors Al Vontorcik and Allen Keener.  By law, Auditor Walder is ADP’s Administrator.

For more information, please contact Kate Jacob McClain by email at kjacob@gcauditor.com or phone (440) 279-1629.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GEAUGA IT CENTER HELPS 100,000

CHARDON, OHIO, November 27, 2018 — Geauga County Auditor Charles E. Walder announced today that the Geauga County Help Desk handled its 100,000th service request.

Geauga’s Help Desk is operated by the county’s Automatic Data Processing Center (“ADP”), under Co-Directors Al Vontorcik and Allen Keener, which is Geauga’s information technology center. By law, Auditor Walder is ADP’s Administrator.

ADP began tracking service requests through its Help Desk on December 26, 2006. In 2017 alone, ADP handled 8,727 Help Desk service requests.

On November 14, 2018, Kristen Rine of the Geauga County Prosecutor’s Office placed Help Desk’s 100,000th service request. Along with assisting Ms. Rine, ADP staff provided her with flowers to mark the milestone.

“Congratulations to ADP, the 100,000th Help Desk service request is an incredibly important milestone,” Auditor Walder said. “We appreciate their hard work.”

For more information, please contact Kate Jacob McClain by email at kjacob@gcauditor.com or phone (440) 279-1629.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

GEAUGA COUNTY AUDITOR’S OFFICE CORRECTS FUEL TAX DISTRIBUTION TO MUNICIPALITIES

CHARDON, OHIO, October 15, 2018 – Geauga County Auditor Charles E. Walder announced  today  the  correction  of  a  37-year  old  practice  under  prior  Geauga  County Auditors of improperly distributing Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax revenues to municipalities.

Several months ago the Auditor’s Office was part of a collaboration that discovered Geauga County’s municipalities were incorrectly receiving a fuel tax distribution from the Office that was not authorized by law. “As soon as we discovered this problem in April 2018, our Office immediately stopped monthly distributions, notified the affected municipalities, and began an investigation, working closely with the County Prosecutor’s and Engineer’s Offices,” said Mr. Walder.

This joint investigation revealed that prior Geauga County Auditors had been distributing fuel tax revenue to the six Geauga County municipalities, contrary to law, since 1981.  The funds distributed, totaling approximately three million dollars, should have been distributed to the Geauga County Engineer’s Office. Additionally, the Geauga County Prosecutor has requested an Attorney General Opinion to determine what steps the county will be taking regarding these funds.

This issue was discovered and corrected through a collaboration that can partly be attributed to many of the positive accountability changes at the Auditor’s Office since Mr. Walder took Office in April 2018. Since April, Mr. Walder has hired a Compliance Officer who has been part  of  this  investigation  and  correction  process.  Mr.  Walder  has  also  reevaluated  the processes of the Auditor’s Office in order to provide more accountability of Geauga County fiscal operations.

“In addition to finding and correcting this issue, we have taken several steps to help prevent a similar occurrence in the future. Catching and correcting this mistake reflects our Office’s ongoing efforts to review and improve our practices, protocols, policies, and procedures. We are focused on internal improvement in order to safeguard the public’s funds,” said Mr. Walder.

Charles E. Walder
Geauga County Auditor

For more information, please contact Kate Jacob McClain, by email at kjacob@gcauditor.com or phone (440) 279-1629.