Missouri auditor finds lack of oversight, missing funds in Dade County Sheriff's Office

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Edited News Release) -- The Missouri State Auditor's Office released its regularly-scheduled audit of the government of Dade County Thursday. The audit received an overall rating of poor.

"This audit points to the need for improved controls and procedures in several areas of Dade County government so that both funds and electronic data can be better protected," Auditor Nicole Galloway said. "I urge county officials to implement our recommendations in order to better serve taxpayers."

Galloway says the audit's results focus on weak record keeping and lack of oversight in the sheriff's office. Initial work by auditors revealed $3,000 in missing funds. The sheriff's office explained and accounted for much of the money. However, approximately $800 in missing funds were shown on receipt slips, but not deposited into the inmate bank account. Cash refunds were also made to inmates, but not recorded in the computerized accounting system. As a result, inmates received a check for money they has already been refunded in cash.

Auditor Galloway says the sheriff also did not prepare monthly bank reconciliations for five to 14 months on various bank accounts and did not maintain accurate accounting records. Other concerns included delays in depositing and disbursing civil and criminal process fees, not properly disbursing commissary proceeds and collecting a drug testing fee not allowed by state law.

Among additional findings of the audit:
The Dade County collector-treasurer needs to improve controls and procedures. The audit showed amounts were under withheld from tax collections for the Assessment Fund and from the collection of delinquent taxes. She also notes there was not adequate review of the financial activities of the collector-treasurer by the county clerk nor the county commission. And she says county electronic records are not adequately protected and are susceptible to unauthorized access or loss of data.