Audit of Gasconade County finds concerns with Sheriff’s Office’s financial practices

   

Press release

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released an audit of Gasconade County, which received an overall rating of “fair.” The audit questioned the appropriateness of several purchases made using an account maintained by the former sheriff outside of the county treasury.

“Taxpayers expect purchases by the sheriff’s office to have a clear benefit to public safety in their community, but our audit found this was not always the case,” Auditor Galloway said. “I appreciate the responses of Gasconade County officials, who appear committed to making improvements to ensure proper use of taxpayer dollars.”

The report found the former sheriff maintained the Sheriff’s Office Reserve Fund account outside of the county treasury and did not properly document spending from the fund. Questionable purchases included payments to local restaurants, grocery stores and a pawn shop, as well as charity donations and memberships in local organizations. The former sheriff also indicated money was used to provide bonuses, which would be in violation of the Missouri Constitution.

Additional recommendations to the sheriff’s office included requiring employees to prepare accurate timesheets and ensuring compensation is paid through the county’s normal payroll process. The new sheriff, who took office in 2017, reported he had implemented the recommendations.

The report identified improvements needed in the accounting procedures in the offices of the Ex-Officio Recorder of Deeds and the Public Administrator.

The complete audit can be found here.