Johnstown Village Council voted unanimously April 19 to recover $1,006 from former village employees Sandra Berry and Sarah Phillips.

Johnstown Village Council voted unanimously April 19 to recover $1,006 from former village employees Sandra Berry and Sarah Phillips.

Both were cited in a 2009 audit for misappropriating village money.

The audit said Phillips, former village manager, owed the village $257 from misused funds while Berry, former finance director, owed $749.

The audit states Phillips used village money for a $103 purchase at Wilsons Leathers and a cash advance.

Berry used village money to buy two airline tickets for her husband worth $689 and a $60 cash advance, according to the audit.

"It was fine until she (Berry) didn't reimburse the village," said Jim Lenner, village administrator. "There was no documentation that she paid the village back."

The state auditor's office released its findings Feb. 3 and said council had four months to decide what to do.

Since council voted to seek repayment, the state will now try to recoup the money.

"The two findings here is what the state auditor found to be concrete misappropriation of money, so we're able to go through the state and they will seek that restitution from those two individuals," Lenner said.

Lenner said he would contact village law director David Wigginton and have him speak with the state and move forward with the recovery process.

"They could pay it and then it's over with," Lenner said. Though he added the two could try to avoid repayment.

"I'm assuming at the time they were bonded, like an insurance policy, so ultimately they might not have to pay it, but you heard the council," Lenner said, "they want their money back."

Lenner said at this time council won't seek federal charges against either Berry or Phillips.

"We will see how the recoupment process goes before making that final decision," he said.

Council member David Keck said he's glad council is moving forward with the process.

"When this is resolved then we're done with that. These two," Keck said.

Lenner said Judy Edwards, his predecessor, ordered the audit in 2009 to "make sure the books were clean before she started (her term)."

"There were a lot of recommendations (from the state auditor) of you (the village) aren't doing this right, you should do it this way," Lenner said. "It (the audit) has cleaned up our books. It should have been done that way from the beginning."

Lenner said the village made some changes since the audit, including getting rid of several credit cards used by Johnstown employees.

Lenner credits new finance director Larry Heiser for making sure taxpayers' money is now used correctly.

"Larry does a great job of making sure money's being spent out of the right account," he said, "He's making sure all the internal controls are there."

Phillips took a city manager position at Rolling Meadows, Ill., in December 2008 but resigned in December 2010.

Her new phone number is not known, though her online LinkedIn page states she is currently a "city manager in transition."

Multiple attempts to reach Berry by phone were unsuccessful.