Scioto Halfway House Accused After Audit

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A state audit says officials at a southern Ohio halfway house illegally spent thousands of taxpayer dollars on alcohol, hotels, travel costs for family members and a strip club.

The audit released Tuesday also says employees of STAR Community Justice Center in Scioto County forged receipts for personal and unauthorized purchases.

The report from Auditor David Yost found $20,000 in illegal spending, with about half involving conferences in Las Vegas, Reno, Orlando and Pittsburgh.

The report said two center officials spent $170 at a Columbus strip club in December 2014.

The report cited former deputy director Josh Saunders for improperly spending $12,042, and executive director Charles Philabaun for improperly spending $5,965.

Messages seeking comment on the allegations were left for attorneys representing Saunders and Philabaun.