Audit finds over $17,000 in cash missing from Independence county

INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) – A state audit finds thousands of dollars unaccounted for in Independence County, but it's what county officials found that has them seeking help from state authorities.

"This is nothing that you would even try to look for," said Independence County Judge Robert Griffin.

But when Griffin came into office this past January, the files for the county's asset list had been deleted. "Had the list been in existence and sufficient to comply with legislative audit law, we would not have even had the need to start a check," said Griffin.

But it's what was found in the process to recreate the list that caught Griffin's attention, which led him to review VIN numbers on vehicles that had been sold for scrap.

"When I went to the scrap yard, they told me that they really didn't have VIN numbers. They did have a records that they could print over the computer, and I found 92 individual transactions," said Griffin.

Records that contained cash transactions that added up to over 17 thousand dollars. Money that couldn't be accounted for. "The County Treasurer checked it one-by-one and he couldn't find any record or receipt of it," said Griffin.

But that's not all, Griffin also has a list that found, page-after-page, of items missing in action.

"Mack trucks, cranes, I mean obviously nothing that you can just lose, but probably they were traded or even sold in an appropriate fashion, but they were not properly documented through court orders. It's obvious that there is a problem with insufficient record keeping and we are correcting that.," said Griffin.

Griffin says the case has been turned over to Arkansas State Police to investigate.

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