Audit details missing retirement funds for Ballard County employees

More than $13,000 in overpayment, undocumented overtime, and shorting the retirement funds of Ballard County employees are just a few highlights in an audit of the fiscal court.

County Attorney Vicki Hayden says they’re in the document-gathering phase. Hayden says she puts most of the blame on the former jailer, Mike Horn, and former treasurer Belinda Foster. The audit says Foster overpaid herself $13,000 from the health reimbursement account. Hayden says that overpayment actually amounted to more than $25,000.

"There are areas where we don’t even know where to begin to calculate how much overpaid or underpaid for various people,” Hayden said. On the topic of underpayment, Hayden says the county will reimburse county employees some retirement funds dating back to 2009. She says Foster is insured up to $500,000.

Hayden believes some of the discrepancies happened due to a small staff.

“There were ledgers that were being maintained in our office that were done with pencil on green sheets of paper with lines. That is completely unacceptable,” Hayden said. “The county will be whole again."

She says the fiscal court is not to blame for the audit. “I’ve reviewed the fiscal court minutes and the financial documents that have been presented to the fiscal court over these years. Nothing in those documents would lead us to believe anything like that was going on.”

Horn and former deputy jailer Monica Galloway are charged with official misconduct for not documenting receipts and not depositing funds. Foster also faces criminal charges. Her case goes before a grand jury on March 4

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