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Sheriff's Department Is In Debt

An eastern Kentucky sheriffs department is thousands of dollars in debt.

A state audit blames inadequate book keeping and poor oversight for the 85 thousand dollar deficit.

The Magoffin County Sheriff's Department is taking action to get their finances back on track.

Sheriff Bob Jordan is out of town but WYMT’s Angela Sparkman talked to him on the phone.

He says a lot of the problems are being taken care of, he's even using some of his own money, and he says they've already made changes to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

Bookkeeper Josie Bailey is taking over the finances in the Magoffin County Sheriff's Department.

The sheriff hired her soon after state auditors found problems and she says her job isn't easy.

“By the end of 2006, there was a lot of money that hadn't been paid out, that should have been,” Bailey said.

State auditors say the bills add up to almost 85-thousand dollars.

“We found significant concerns in the audit with the fees and financial management,” Luallen said.

Bailey says the two big issues are payroll taxes and car loans.

The audit says the department was taking out taxes from employee paychecks, but not giving it to the IRS and instead using it themselves.

Bailey says she paid the I-R-S on Monday.

“Hopefully, everything has been taken care of,” Bailey said.

The Sheriff's office still owes thousands of dollars for three cruisers.

Bailey says the Sheriff got them two years ago thinking grant money would pay for them.

She says they didn't get the grants, and then they couldn't make the payments.

The bank added an overdraft fee every month.

Bailey says they're working with the bank now.

“He decided that he spent enough on them that he wanted to still try and keep them. Hopefully, in the next two years, we'll have them paid off,” Bailey said.

State auditor Crit Luallen says this is the third time she's found similar problems in the Magoffin County Sheriff's Office.

“So we have concerns. We'll be taking a careful look at the this same office in next year's audit,” Luallen said.
Bailey says she has it under control.

“Everything is back on track. The reporting is back in shape, so we're doing real good now,” Bailey said.

Crit Luallen says they did not turn this over to police because they don't suspect any criminal activity, but she did recommend the county attorney and fiscal court look into the problems and situation.


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