Auditor Of Public Accounts
Luallen releases 2008 audit of Wayne County Clerk, refers $53,000 deficit, other findings to AG, State Police

Press Release Date:  Friday, July 24, 2009  
Contact Information:  Contact: Communications Director
Phone: (502) 573-0050
Fax: (502) 573-0067Email: APA.PressReleases@Auditor.ky.gov
Website: http://www.kyauditor.ky.gov
 


State Auditor Crit Luallen today released Wayne County Clerk Melissa Turpin’s audit of her 2008 financial statement, which refers a $52,930 deficit in her official account to the Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office for further investigation.

The Auditor’s Office referred an $87,056 deficit to law enforcement in December 2008 as part of its 2007 audit, making the current deficit in the Wayne County Clerk’s Office total $139,986 through 2008. Law enforcement is currently investigating the matter.

“We continue to see a lack of financial oversight and proper controls from the Wayne County Clerk,” Luallen said. “These types of concerns point out the value of having the State Auditor’s Office as an independent watchdog.”

Luallen said her office has been working closely with law enforcement regarding numerous audit findings the last three years.

According to audit released today, $87,056 was deposited into the 2007 fee account from 2008 fee receipts and used to cover a 2007 deficit reported in the prior-year audit.

Auditors found $31,730 in additional monies had not been deposited into the 2008 fee account. Auditors recapped each daily checkout sheet for 2008, compared each total to each daily bank deposit and concluded there was a total of $118,786 of undeposited receipts throughout the year. 

The undeposited receipts included $87,056 of 2008 receipts deposited into the 2007 Fee Account and the additional shortage of $31,730 in 2008, which was ultimately covered with 2009 fee receipts.

Auditors also found $21,200 in disallowed expenditures for office renovation and cleaning.

The count clerk expended $58,733 in 2008 on an office renovation project, of which $16,950 did not have proper documentation and has been disallowed. The clerk also spent $4,250 for cleaning the office that did not have proper documentation and has been disallowed. 

The audit recommends the county clerk pay the $139,986 deficit from personal funds into the 2008 official fee account. Once the deficit is paid, the office recommends excess fees of $108,256 be paid to the Wayne County Fiscal Court. 

The remainder of $31,730 will cover the 2009 fees that were inappropriately used to pay 2008 excess fees and outstanding liabilities, according to the audit.

The audit also found:

• Of the $58,733 the clerk expended on the 2008 office renovation, the amount of $23,875 is being questioned by auditors for reasonableness.

Auditors found that the county clerk had several expenditures deemed questionable. The total spent on cabinets and desks include the front section of the office which the county clerk received a bid of $12,000.

Auditors question the remaining cost of $23,875, which appears to be an unreasonable amount for items purchased. 

• The county clerk should disclose related party transactions involving payments of $12,650 made to her spouse to the Wayne County Board of Ethics.

During the review of related party transactions and corresponding disbursements, auditors noted 22 checks written to the county clerk’s husband totaling $12,650. 

Of the total paid, $4,250 was for cleaning services, $2,200 was for painting the office and $6,200 was posted as labor.  None of the expenditures was properly documented which resulted in the total amount being disallowed
2007 audit found $87,000 deficit, brings total deficit in Wayne County Clerk’s Office to nearly $140,000 over two years

The complete audit can be viewed at www.auditor.ky.gov.