McCracken County Fiscal Court red flags

Last summer, the McCracken County Fiscal Court took part in a state audit and auditors found more that $2 million worth of spending was unaccounted for. With some new members assuming office, the 2015 court is due to inherit these old issues. 

There are a number of points the state highlighted in this audit. It’s not uncommon for there to be discrepancies, but the state auditor says some are “red flags”. 

  • The audit says the county had poor management and delegation of responsibility in spending cash.
  • As well as poor documentation and collection of receipts from spent cash.
  • It also mentions poor management and control over credit card transactions and their receipts. 

Stephanie Hoelscher, the Communications Director for the State Auditor’s office, says these findings could quote “Make it easier for fraud, theft, embezzlement to occur.”

New Judge Executive Elect Bob Leeper says one of his first orders is to go over the audit with those on the state level, “We want to have a discussion of what’s been done, what they expected to be done, and hopefully they match up and hopefully they will and we can move onto the next issue.”

Another issue marked in the audit is one carrying over from December 2013: improving controls over payroll and payroll related payments. It specifically identifies the compensation paid to former Emergency Management Director, Paul Carter. Leeper agrees with the discrepancy saying, “I think there are some things that are atypical in there as noted by the auditor. I think the payment to Mr. Carter appears to be exorbitant.”

The audit says Carter’s compensation did not follow state statue and recommends the County recalculate the payment to determine if Carter should be responsible for reimbursing the County.

In regards to the state audit, former Judge Executive Van Newberry says in his exit interview with the state auditors their findings were very typical.

Former Commissioner Zana Renfro says the Fiscal Court openly discussed the audit several times in meetings and hopes the issues are resolved.

Commissioner Jerry Byer refused to comment.

The state did recommend the County Attorney address one issue. It found the Fiscal Court treated an hourly employee as a contract worker. The audit noted it may violate County ethics. However, because of the holiday, the County Attorney’s office was closed. This is a matter Local 6 will work to follow up on.

The audit noted former County Judge Executive Van Newberry as taking all the state’s recommendations. 

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