The office of the Missouri State Auditor has released the results of the Livingston County Audit. Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich’s office rated the County as “good,” but there were a few problems. The auditor’s office recommended a third person be added to review bank statements in the Sheriff’s office. The office found documentation was missing for thirteen transactions.
Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Sheriff Steve Cox:
The report can reviewed at auditor.mo.gov.
Press Release from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office
After reading the C-T for Tuesday September 17, 2013 and talking with several employees of the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office it was decided this office should give a rebuttal to the auditors report to better share the “Rest of the Story”.
- Sheriff does not adequately segregate accounting duties or provide adequate oversight:
- Our office is small. We have always been in compliance with every prior audit and have continued to perform our duties as directed and approved of in prior audits by having the office manager and sheriff separately reviews the bank statements for approval or locating mistakes. Now the auditor wants a 3rd member of our office to also review every document, so we have added the chief deputy position to this procedure. With around $200,000 in transactions reviewed, every dime was properly accounted for.
- The issue is our office manager handles the deposits in addition to having been responsible for issuing checks to detainees when they left the custody of the Livingston County Jail for any money they had left on their commissary account. Not being able to be here 24/7 there was an incident where a deposit they referred to as being “timely” deposited. Again no money was unaccounted for and with the jail being closed this has eliminated the majority of this issue.
- Sheriff charging additional fee for sex offenders and it is placed in Inmate Security Fund rather then General Revenue:
- We had a misunderstanding in the direction of a Missouri statute as to when a $5.00 fee was to be charged. We viewed it at every registration rather then only when a change of anything from the prior registration. Over the period of time we are talking about $1,800 that was properly accounted for.
- The day the auditor pointed out our misunderstanding the sheriff changed collection policy and requested an internal office audit to show the total amounts paid by registered sex offenders. The sheriff then made written request to the Livingston County Clerk and Commission to reimburse the registered sex offenders the specific amounts, which has never been done, but instead was placed in general revenue at the request of the county clerk and/or commission.
- Credit Card Statements:
- The auditors reported 13 transactions of credit card for county sheriff/jail operations did not have receipts with the billing in the county clerk’s office. The sheriff and office manager explained that credit card transactions receipts are turned into when approved. Some were turned in to the county clerk after the credit card bill was signed after all purchases were properly accounted for in jail or sheriffs office operations. It is possible that some receipts were lost in transit from our office to the county clerk and then from the county clerk to the county commission and then back to the county clerk.
- The auditors did not find any credit card transactions which were improper or for items other then sheriff and/or jail operation needs.
- The auditors failed to show the sheriff or office manager what credit card transactions did not have receipts attached so we could review the document and have further discussion.
- Closing Statement:
- The audit accounted for every dime accounted for every dime handled through the sheriff’s office. There was no inference of unethical or unprofessional conduct in our daily operations. In fact we were complimented by the auditors in the closing interview.
- The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office has received a good audit report since January 01, 2001 and since that time we have always complied with the ever changing state auditor’s requests or suggestions in various procedures.
- The current audit staff reported to us they are not permitted point out the good things we do here. They do not report that we actually do more or have better control then many other offices in the state.
- We are still a small organization and much smaller then we were a year ago. We have good, honest, and ethical people that work here and take pride in helping our citizens and community. My staff and I feel the wording of the auditors final report was given an unintentional negative spin which implies something other then the good audit we received.