Goad and Company presents preliminary review of clerk's office

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The preliminary report into discrepancies in the Craighead County Clerk's Office were presented to quorum court members Tuesday night.

Senior Audit Manager at Goad and Company, Tamara Honeycutt, presented their findings, along with comments from the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Audit to court members.

"There is a whole lot of errors going on," Honeycutt said. "The legislative audit has been raising red flags regarding the internal control, policies and procedures, at the County Clerk's Office since 2003."

Comments from the Arkansas Bureau of Legislative Audit and Goad and Company showed many problems stemming from years back.

"We noted that some of the payroll journals were not available...and many of them had discrepancies," Honeycutt said. Discrepancies that ranged anywhere from timeliness of when the payroll was submitted, to the dollar amounts submitted on those payroll tax deposits.

Honeycutt explained some of the reasons why dollar amounts were wrong on the deposits.

"Causes included math errors, which were numerous, federal and state deposits were interchanged."

New Craighead County Clerk, Kade Holliday told Region 8 News that changes they've made since he's taken office should keep these issues from happening in the future.

"We've updated our payroll system in general to a new system that is not DOS (disk operating system) based...it's current," Holliday explained. "And we've been working to get all the files transferred into it."

Holliday feels confident in the future of the clerk's office.

"With the implication of this new system, it should safeguard us against all the problems we've had in the past."

But, Honeycutt made it known to Justices of the Peace tonight that if in the future, the Arkansas Legislative Audit raises red flags against the County Clerk's office, someone must hold the clerk accountable.

"It appears that no one has been holdIng the county clerk accountable for those findings," Honeycutt said. "There should be some accountability for what they're [Arkansas Legislative Audit] trying to tell you."

During their investigation, Goad and Company did find that the county has submitted subsequent tax payments of $333,000 to the IRS. However, the IRS has also issued refunds to the county of approximately $88,000.

In their report, Goad and Company states, "...the net $245,000 is comprised of $61,000 additional liability and $184,000 in late payment or late filing interest or penalties. These amounts are subject to change when the IRS completes the 2004 period reconciling."

Goad and Company said that when the IRS reconciles information from 2004, they will present a final report of their findings. However, right now, no official time table for when that final report will be presented has been set.

Region 8 News will continue to track this story and bring you the latest details as soon as they become available.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All Rights Reserved.


JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - In May of 2012, Craighead County officials learned of $288,000 in penalties and fines owed to the Internal Revenue Service. During Monday night's Craighead County Quorum Court meeting, members learned the IRS is saying thousands of more dollars in discrepancies have been added to Craighead County's balance.
However, it appeared to quorum court members that there is some confusion between the IRS and the county.
According to court members, this latest money owed stems from a $23,000 deposit in December of 2011.
That deposit was made around the same time the quorum court was learning of the original $288,000 worth of penalties and fines owed to the IRS.
According to court members, it appears the IRS took that deposit from December and used it to pay off fines from 2004.
The IRS now says the county still owes that $23,000 plus interest that was added to that money over the past several months.
However, right now, according to Craighead County Judge Ed Hill's assistant, Tony Thomas, there's not any more interest being added to that balance which now totals $39,556.31.
"A hold was placed on that file for a four week period, that would stop the accruing of interest and penalties that would give us the time to understand what has transpired as well as send them their payment in full," Thomas said.
Thomas said now that they've discovered the problem, they have three weeks left from the four week grace period to pay the IRS that $39,556.31.
Nancy Nelms said she will continue to appeal certain penalties and fines so that hopefully, they can get some of that money back.
Justices of the Peace agreed to let Nelms' office stay in control of the issue as opposed to letting the judge's office continue to resolve the problem.
"I've been trying to clean up my mess. And so far I've not done so good but we have got some money back and with file and appeal I believe we'll get some more," Nelms said.
Also mentioned in Monday night's meeting was the review of Nancy Nelms' office because of the original penalties and fines to the IRS. The court had decided to wait until the end of July to begin a review of the county clerk's office. Craighead County Judge Ed Hill said they plan on beginning that process next week. 
Thomas said the judge's office and an outside firm will agree upon which procedures will take place in the review. Thomas said they hope to get a general overview of Nelms' office and if there is a greater issue, they'll have the outside firm dig deeper into the problem.
Region 8 News will continue to track this story and bring you the latest details as they become available.
Copyright 2012 KAIT. All Rights Reserved.