Discrepancies revealed in Knox Co. Fiscal Court audit

By: Kendall Downing Email
By: Kendall Downing Email

An Eastern Kentucky County could be in some trouble after the state auditor finds discrepancies. Knox County's audit of the Fiscal Court raised some serious questions and has been referred to the Attorney General's office.

The news of the audit came down a few days ago.

"I ran against a magistrate. He was out telling people things that we had done that were not true," said J.M. Hall, Knox County Judge-Executive.

Hall said some of the audit boils down to local politics. But state auditors disagree, raising a number of issues on paper with the Fiscal Court's actions in 2010.

"We never allow politics to enter into any decisions made in any audit," said Crit Luallen, Auditor of Public Accounts.

Many of those issues deal with the bidding process. Auditors advised the Fiscal Court they should offer bids for any projects that cost more than $20,000. They're referring to five vehicles the county purchased, without advertising for bids.

"We bought the vehicles, five vehicles, from local, tax-paying individuals who pay occupational tax here, who pay county tax here. And we saved $3175, but we were wrote up for it," said Hall.

Auditors mentioned the county's annex project in Corbin and said when funding circumstances changed, that project should have been offered for bids again.

"It needs to be transparent and competitive to be sure that the taxpayers are being protected," said Luallen.

Hall said the county is fair in its bidding practices and always has been under his watch.

"One year someone else had the bid - this year they had the bid. Who knows who will get it next year. We always accept the lowest bidder; we have thus far. And that's who we use," said Hall.

And he said the Fiscal Court will answer questions about the audit at their next meeting.

"We'll be here and don't care to discuss anything," said Hall.

The audit also mentions payroll issues as well as the county's record-keeping.

The next Knox County Fiscal Court meeting is Wednesday, September 28th at 11:30 a.m.

Judge Hall said at this point, the county has not been contacted by the Attorney General's office.

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