Report found $7,776 in unidentified money, need for stronger oversight by court officials
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (Jan. 14, 2016) Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released an audit of the Mosby municipal court, located in Clay County. The audit found the court, which is no longer operational, lacked necessary review and oversight procedures, leading to an excess balance of $7,776 in unidentified money in a court bank account.
“Every level of government requires checks and balances, and in Mosby we found a number of situations in which court officials did not approve case actions or failed to review activities related to collecting, recording and depositing payments made to the court,” Auditor Galloway said. “In addition, court officials were unable to identify to whom an excess balance of nearly $8,000 belonged.”
Auditors found the prosecuting attorney did not sign every ticket processed by the court, in violation of court rules, and the court administrator dismissed some tickets without documentation of legal review. Only 20 percent of tickets reviewed by auditors included the required signature. Additionally, the municipal court judge did not review or approve decisions on all tickets, and the court did not maintain a docket sheet for each case, as required by court rules.
The City of Mosby Board of Aldermen voted to discontinue city police department operations in August of 2015. The municipal court was discontinued the following month with pending cases transferred to the Clay County Circuit Court.
The Mosby municipal court audit was conducted as part of the Municipal Courts Initiative. This initiative expands the standard court audit process. In addition to reviewing financial transactions, accounting practices, and compliance with court rules and state law, auditors also review statistical information, tickets and other penalties to identify improper activities or practices that may impair impartiality or damage the court’s credibility with citizens.
The full audit report, which received an overall performance rating of “fair,” can be found here.