Managing Editor/Jobe Publishing
Mike Harmon’s audit of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Dale Frog Ford revealed numerous discrepancies and questionable accounting practices.
For starters, The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is not accounting for receipts properly. The sheriff is not utilizing pre-numbered receipt books properly and deposits are not made daily.
Auditors verified this with select customers who paid for auto inspections during receipts testing who stated no receipts have ever been given for auto inspections. Furthermore, manual receipts were dated on days when the bookkeeper was off per her timesheet; therefore, receipts could not have been issued to these customers at the time of the transaction. When receipts are not issued to customers and deposits are not made intact daily, this increases the risk of misappropriation of funds or theft.
The sheriff’s controls over receipts did not operate effectively due to the lack of oversight over the daily receipts process. Although documented compensating controls are in place by the sheriff, he did not ensure all receipts were being collected and did not ensure all receipts were being issued to customers as required by KRS 64.840.
County Sheriff’s Response: Some checks are dated and not received on the same day of service.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office did not properly account for auto inspections. A sheriff’s office is required to collect a $5 fee per vehicle for inspecting vehicles during the title application process. If it becomes necessary for an inspector to travel to the site of the vehicle rather than to a sheriff’s inspection area, a sheriff is required to collect a $10 per trip fee. These funds are to be deposited into the sheriff’s official fee account and used for the lawful purposes of the office.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office did not follow proper procurement procedures for purchases over $30,000, and the Monroe County Sheriff did not advertise for bids on all disbursements exceeding $30,000. During the calendar year 2020, the sheriff paid one vendor $40,500 for the purchase of five used police cruisers. Three of these cruisers were purchased on March 19, 2020, for a total of $21,500 and the other two were purchased on December 11, 2020, for a total of $19,000. These vehicles were not advertised for bid by the sheriff or fiscal court.
As a result, the sheriff was not in compliance with procurement laws or the county administrative code and may not have received the lowest or the best value for the products provided.
Furthermore, the Monroe County Administrative Code states, “The county shall advertise for bids any item that cost accumulate above $20,000.00.” An amendment to this occurred on July 18, 2019, by the Monroe County Fiscal Court when the fiscal court approved to amend this amount from $20,000 to $30,000 as the maximum amount without taking out newspaper advertisements for bids.
We recommend the sheriff monitor disbursements to ensure procurement procedures are followed properly for any purchases or contracts over $30,000.
County Sheriff’s Response: Never went over the limit, was not aware that bids were supposed to be requested.
Auditor’s Reply: As noted in the finding above, audit testing revealed the sheriff paid one vendor over $30,000 during the calendar year 2020.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office does not have adequate segregation of duties over receipts, disbursements, and reconciliations with compensating controls that were not operating effectively. The bookkeeper opens the mail, collects payments from customers, prepares receipts and deposits, prepares daily checkouts, posts to the receipts and disbursements ledgers, and prepares monthly and quarterly reports.
This report highlights some of the most outlandish of the discrepancies, however, is not the auditor’s report in full. To read the report in full go to: