On April 7, Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit of Madison County. The audit raised concerns with operations in the prosecuting attorney and sheriff’s offices, and with county vehicle and fuel records.
The audit found a substantial number of records were missing from the prosecuting attorney’s office, including all accounting records from 2011 through 2014.
The current prosecuting attorney said the records were missing when he took office in January of 2015, while the previous prosecuting attorney says all records were left in the office. Because financial records are missing, the prosecuting attorney’s office has $30,000 in bank accounts that it cannot identify where it came from or where it belongs.
“The county has gone through two audits, and no one has been able to identify where those funds came from,” said Prosecuting Attorney Dwight Robbins. “The money has been placed in a prosecuting attorney’s administrative fund and it will remain there until it is identified.”
The “Citizen’s Summary” which accompanied the audit said the prosecutor spent $7,761 from those aforementioned bank accounts.
Robbins said the bulk of the money spent went to purchase a much-needed new sound system for the courtroom. Some money also went to pay for training. He said the office has opened two bank accounts and they are currently up-to-date and reconciled monthly.
“We think we have the mess cleaned up to satisfy the auditor’s office,” Robbins said.
The audit also found the sheriff’s office did not provide adequate oversight for commissary operations. The sheriff operates the Madison County Jail and maintains a commissary for inmates to purchase snacks and personal hygiene items.
The commissary officer is responsible for tracking inventory, making deposits and maintaining accounting records, but there is no independent review of these duties. Auditors found receipts were not consistently issued, and the commissary account was not balanced at the end of each month. In addition, state law requires proceeds from county jail commissaries to be deposited into the county’s Inmate Prisoner Detainee Security Fund, held by the county treasurer. In Madison County, the profit is currently either left in the commissary account, or deposited into a separate account, which is maintained by the sheriff, not the county treasurer, as required by law.
“We now have a company we have contracted our commissary services with,” Madison County Sheriff Bobby Spain said.
Spain said the Madison County Jail now uses Stellar Services, L.L.C. which is an inmate commissary company based in Stoughton, Wisconsin that started in 2001.
“All of those changes have been made or are in the process of being made, now,” Spain said. “Two people in the department can print any document (the auditors) want, now.”
Auditor Galloway’s report also identified deficiencies in data security for the property tax system, and recommended the county restrict access to some information. The audit also makes recommendations to improve tracking of vehicle and fuel use by the road and bridge department and sheriff’s office.
Traci M. Black is a reporter for the Democrat News and can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at email@example.com.