Audit: Pemiscot County in poor financial condition

CARUTHERSVILLE, MO (KAIT) - An audit by the state auditor State Auditor Tom Schweich found the overall performance of Pemiscot County as poor.

The audit found several county funds are in poor financial condition, and poor budgeting practices have made the financial condition worse.

The financial condition of the county is considered weak.

The General Revenue, Special Road and Bridge and Assessment Funds continue to deteriorate and operate with negative cash balances, according to Schweich.

The county is using other funds, including restricted funds, to cover the negative balances and continues to approve deficit budgets for several funds, which is in violation of state law.

The audit also claims the county collector does not always deposit receipts timely and intact, increasing the risk of loss, theft, or misuse of funds.  Neither the county clerk nor the county commission adequately reviews the activities of the county collector.

Timesheets were not available for some county employees and the county does not maintain centralized records of leave balances.  Several employees had negative vacation and/or sick leave balances.

The audit also claims the county does not tag, inventory, or track capital assets properly or adequately monitor vehicle and fuel use, maintain mileage and fuel use logs or reconcile fuel used to fuel purchased.

Other claims include not entering into agreements with various political subdivisions before withholding property tax payments for taxes and legal fees relating to a protested tax case.

The audit also found the previous county treasurer was paid more than normal from drainage district funds because of an increase in federal funds.

The audit also noted that bad checks fees and court-ordered restitution are not transmitted from the county prosecutor to the county treasurer or victims in a timely manner.

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