State auditor clears city building commissioner following allegation

Published:

by Jeff Saunders | Reporter

Macedonia -- Investigations in recent months by the Ohio auditor's office and the city's police department have cleared Building Commissioner Mike Hlad, who was accused anonymously of improperly collecting pay from the city while working a second job.

"I'm just glad it's over," Hlad said, declining to comment further.

"He did nothing wrong," said Mayor Don Kuchta.

Kuchta and Police Chief Jon Golden told the News Leader it is unknown who made the allegation.

"Somebody has a beef against Mike," said Golden. "It's just craziness."

According to a report of its investigation, the state auditor's office began its review following a written June 29 "anonymous resident complaint" submitted to the auditor's office concerning a five-hour period Hlad spent performing a part-time job as assistant building commissioner in Cuyahoga Heights.

The complaint alleges that time sheets show that in mid-March, Hlad was working in both communities on the same day. The complaint then questions why Hlad was later allowed to alter his Cuyahoga Heights time sheet.

"Apparently he was able to make changes to match his full-time job with the City of Macedonia," wrote the complainant, adding that "I think a thorough investigation needs to be performed within both cities ..."

The auditors' report states that a review of Hlad's time sheets for days he worked in both communities reflected that "the changes to the village timesheet for correction of an error are deemed reasonable."

In a Sept. 3 letter to Golden, Police Lt. Vince Yakopovich wrote that in his own investigation of city and Cuyahoga Heights records indicate there was no wrongdoing.

"This investigation has been completed with the conclusion that the complaint regarding Mr. Hlad is without merit," wrote Yakopovich.

Kuchta and Golden said they are especially upset because the auditor's office is billing the city for its investigation, which Finance Director Scott Svab said he expects to be about $950.

E-mail: jsaunders@recordpub.com
Phone: 330-541-9432

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