State Auditor Crit Luallen today released the audit of the 2004 financial statement of Fulton County Clerk, Lesia LaRue. State law requires the Auditor to conduct annual audits of county clerks and sheriffs.
The Attorney General's Office has been notified of a deficit of $18,644 in the County Clerk's fee account of which $9,533 is undeposited receipts. Undeposited receipts consist of money that came into the Clerk's Office but was not deposited in the Clerk's official accounts. The deficit also included $8,429 of expenditures that exceeded the income of her office.
"The Auditor's Office was required to issue a subpoena in order to obtain documents needed to complete this routine, yearly audit. Now, upon completion, the audit reports 11 separate findings, which reveal a Clerk's Office with not only numerous fiscal and managerial problems, but also with possible criminal issues," said State Auditor Crit Luallen.
In addition, the Audit discovered that the Clerk's Office owes $17,111 to various Fulton County Government agencies, including $11,931 to school districts. Clerk LaRue was found to have received her compensation in violation of state law. KRS 64.535 states that County Clerks shall receive a monthly salary of one-twelfth of the amount of their yearly amount. Instead, the County Clerk received sporadic salary payments throughout the year and received her total salary of $60,313 by November 30, 2004.
Additional findings were that the County Clerk should expend public funds for allowable expenses; should deposit funds intact on a daily basis; should present and annual settlement to the Fiscal Court by March 15; should publish an annual fee settlement; and lacked adequate segregation of duties.
The Auditor's Office was required to issue a qualified opinion on the financial statement taken as a whole. The County Clerk did not provide auditors with a signed representation letter as required by auditing standards generally accepted in the United States of America. A qualified opinion means the Auditor's Office cannot give assurance on the accuracy of the Clerk's financial statements.