Report is part of citizen-mandated audit of Clay County; work continues on other county offices
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released an audit of the Clay County Recorder of Deeds, giving an overall rating of “good.” The report is the second to be released as part of the citizen-mandated audit of Clay County; last month, an audit of the Clay County Clerk gave the same rating.
“Our work is continuing in Clay County to provide answers and information for taxpayers about the county’s operations,” Auditor Galloway said. “My audit noted concerns with the use of leased storage space, and the Recorder of Deeds responded she has implemented new procedures to address the finding.”
The recorder’s office collects various fees for the recording of documents, such as real estate deeds. The document recording fees are deposited into a county fund, a portion of which may be used by the recorder for specific purposes allowed by law. Disbursements from the fund were used to lease storage space for the recorder and other county officials and departments; the audit recommended the recorder ensure that the use of leased space meets the requirements for allowable disbursements from the fund.
The audit of Clay County was initiated after a citizen petition was submitted to the State Auditor’s Office and then verified to have more than the minimum 5,590 signatures of county residents who are registered voters. The audit began in December 2018.
In January 2019, the Clay County Commission sued to prevent the Auditor from conducting the citizen-mandated audit. An Oct. 24, 2019, court ruling confirmed the Auditor’s legal authority to conduct performance audits and dismissed the County Commission’s lawsuit against the Auditor. County Commission officials have failed to fulfill records requests, resulting in Auditor Galloway issuing subpoenas on Nov. 8 and Nov. 22 to require documents and testimony. On Dec. 4, the State Auditor’s Office filed in Clay County court to demand compliance with the subpoenas. The case is moving through the court.
Audit work is ongoing for other Clay County offices.
The full report on the Clay County Recorder of Deeds can be found here.