Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Investigators recover most payments missing in internal audit
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 15, 2005) – Investigators for the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC) and Kentucky State Police (KSP) have turned up the great majority of plumbing-permit payments that were declared missing after an internal audit.
No missing check or money order has been cashed, EPPC Secretary LaJuana S. Wilcher said.
Changes in the handling of permits and payments have since been implemented by the EPPC’s Office of Housing, Buildings and Construction (HBC), which was the agency involved. Permits and payments now are logged and photocopied before being sent along for processing, Wilcher said.
An internal audit failed to turn up payments totaling $70,085 for 1,157 permits issued by plumbing inspectors throughout the state in November and December. All but 10 permits and $500 in payments have since been recovered or replaced.
They included 1,107 permits and $67,126 in payments recovered from a private-agency temporary worker who had been used at HBC to process a heavy volume of permit applications and had taken a batch to her residence. A regular state employee has since been assigned the task, and Wilcher has explicitly banned employees from trying to do such work at home.
HBC’s Division of Plumbing had received replacement payments for most of the permits. For those permit holders, original checks and money orders will be recorded, voided and mailed back, HBC Executive Director Van Cook said. HBC inspectors will continue to pursue all outstanding permits and payments.