FRANKFORT, Ky. (May 5, 2005) – The Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC) and the Kentucky State Police (KSP) are investigating missing payments for state plumbing permits following a routine internal audit, EPPC Secretary LaJuana S. Wilcher announced today.
Changes in the processing of permits and payments have been implemented by the agency involved, the EPPC’s Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction (HBC).
In the internal audit by HBC, checks and money orders totaling $67,749 could not be accounted for. The payments were for 1,135 permits issued by plumbing inspectors throughout the state in November and December. It appears the payments were sent to HBC’s Frankfort office but never logged into the payment system. There has been no evidence, however, that any of the checks or money orders were cashed.
“Once the internal review discovered permit payments were missing, we immediately assigned our Office of Inspector General to investigate the case. The case was referred to the KSP for further investigation when the payments could not be located,” Wilcher said. “HBC Executive Director Van Cook discovered that the payments were missing, quickly implemented changes in the processing of permit payments and began the process of requesting payments from the original permittees. We appreciate the permittees’ cooperation in writing another check to the state.”
HBC’s Division of Plumbing has collected about $45,500 – nearly two-thirds of the money owed – as of today. Cook said his agency is phasing in an online permitting system that will greatly reduce the volume of paper documents having to be mailed to Frankfort.