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Ex-auditor reviews county funds

By BOB HANSEN - bhansen@newsexaminer.com

A former county auditor has made several recommendations concerning record-keeping in the Fayette County treasurer’s office.

Former auditor Debra Shaw-Kidd made a report of her findings to the Board of Commissioners after reviewing financial records of 2011-2016. There is no question that all money is there, she said, just that bank records for those years showed a different amount than the treasurer’s books.

The county treasurer from 2011-16 had been Mary Hiers.

The commissioners hired Shaw-Kidd in February to review the treasurer’s books. The Indiana State Board of Accounts had cited the treasurer’s office for those record-keeping discrepancies from 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, but they had not been reviewed and corrected. A new state law gave the county six months to find the errors and take steps to be sure they did not happen again.

Shaw-Kidd told the commissioners she had found a difference of $39,436.50 between the treasurer’s books and bank deposits. The largest portion came from payments made from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for distribution to local governments, a total of $43,692.88.

Shaw-Kidd said that if the treasurer’s office had been following state law and making checkbook reconciliations every month, the problems wouldn’t have happened. She said that it looked like the county’s check books had not been reconciled with the treasurer’s records since a few months into 2011.

She encouraged the commissioners to ensure that the treasurer make monthly reconciliations and that the treasurer make a monthly financial report by the 16th of each month, as required by law. Those monthly reports, she said, should be shared with the commissioners, the county auditor and the state board of accounts.

She also asked the commissioners to extend her contract as a consultant for about 50 hours so that she could have time to work with the current treasurer, Lavonda Glover, and help her establish the necessary controls and procedures to avoid similar errors in the future. The commissioners will discuss that possibility on Aug. 21.

She said that Glover had not been able to do her job correctly since becoming treasurer because the records were wrong when Glover took over in early 2017.