Too often, small-town officials who are crooked manage to cover their tracks. Sometimes that happens because the part-time officials of their communities simply are not equipped to detect schemes to steal taxpayers' money. Sometimes it occurs because of misplaced trust.
But according to Ohio state Auditor Dave Yost, it didn't happen in Jerusalem. The Monroe County village's former clerk was indicted in August, on charges of theft in office and tampering with records.
Though former Clerk Michelle Kurtz is innocent until proven guilty, of course, the state auditor's office has issued "findings" against her totaling nearly $10,000.
In issuing his report on the matter, Yost commended Jerusalem officials. "It is hard to police your own," he noted.
Again, he is right about that. Small communities rely on officers in positions such as that formerly held by Kurtz to handle financial affairs capably and honestly.
In Jerusalem, however, other village officials kept a close enough eye on the town's money to contact Yost's office when they suspected something was wrong. Good for them, for nipping a problem in the bud.