State Auditor Crit Luallen has released the audit of the financial statements of the Leslie County Fiscal Court for the 2004 and 2005 fiscal years. The two audits were referred to the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office and cover the time period between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2005. State law requires annual audits of county fiscal courts. The two audits were conducted and released simultaneously because Leslie County had requested to contract privately for the audits but had failed to do so. Auditor’s Office personnel took over the process and supervised completion of the work.
Because the Auditor’s Office was unable to obtain accurate and complete financial records of the County, and was unable to apply other auditing procedures regarding the financial reporting system of accounts of the County, the Auditor’s Office has disclaimed an opinion on the County’s financial statements in both fiscal years. A disclaimed audit opinion indicates that auditors were unable to obtain the necessary information to give a financial opinion.
The audits each contained fourteen findings. All Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money, totaling over $900,000, was questioned during the two-year period. All 71 individual projects the county received money for had little or no documentation for their expenditures. The Audits recommend the County and the Kentucky Department of Military Affairs, Division of Emergency Management determine what, if any, amount should be reimbursed to the state.
Additional questioned costs include over $20,000 in credit card purchases without supporting documentation. Over $2,000 in questioned costs occurred because the Fiscal Court had inconsistent pay and benefit packages for constables and commissioners.
Other findings included in the audit were that county employees used the County Judge Executive’s credit card while he was away from the county on active military duty, personnel files were not adequately maintained, and the Fiscal Court did not approve county employee pay rates.
“These audits raise serious concerns regarding the county’s financial management. We will continue to monitor the situation in the 2006 audit and we hope to see, and are expecting, improvements in that next annual audit of the Leslie County Fiscal Court. Audits like these highlight the important role the State Auditor plays as an independent watchdog of the taxpayers’ money.” State Auditor Crit Luallen said.
Both reports, along with responses from the county, are posted on the Internet at the following site: www.auditor.ky.gov.