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View Full Version : State Auditor Conducts Emergency Cash Count of Clarke County Circuit Clerk’s Office



Laney Grantham
04-04-2011, 11:22 AM
PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT: Lisa H. Shoemaker (601) 613-8518
Laney Grantham (601) 576-2641

DATE: April 4, 2011


State Auditor Conducts Emergency Cash Count of Clarke County Circuit Clerk’s Office

(Jackson, Miss.) State Auditor Stacey Pickering met with members of the Clarke County Board of Supervisors today to inform them of an emergency cash count that began earlier today in the Circuit Clerk’s office. Financial audits since FY 2004 indicate the bank statements of the three accounts have not been reconciled. In addition, the Circuit Clerk has not made timely settlements; maintained adequate subsidiary ledgers of fines received; maintained an accurate bond listing; or prepared Sept. 30 FY report identifying the distribution of all funds held by the Clerk.

“I met with the Board of Supervisors in Clarke County today and made them aware of the problems in the Circuit Clerk’s Office and instructed them to immediately hire a CPA to bring the findings of the Circuit Clerk into compliance and recreate the books to settle existing funds in the accounts,” said State Auditor Stacey Pickering. “This is the third county in the last 30 days that my office has gone into and found problems with the financial record keeping that is mandated by State Law. Laws governing local and state governments are meant to protect the taxpayers because poor record keeping and lack of management can often lead to enhanced opportunity to commit fraud.”

A cash count was conducted and cut-off statements were requested of the current clerk’s accounts from the local financial institution. New accounts were opened allowing the County to have a fresh start with adequate records and reconciled accounts. The Board of Supervisors was instructed to immediately hire a CPA to bring the findings of the Circuit Clerk into compliance at the expense of the county. The Board has the option of filing against the bond of the Circuit Clerk to cover the expense.

Elected as Mississippi’s State Auditor in 2007, Stacey Pickering has recovered more than $4.2 million in embezzled, misspent or misappropriated funds. He is a seventh generation Mississippian from Jones County. Auditor Pickering currently serves on the Domestic Working Group for the Office of the Comptroller General of the United States. He also serves on the Financial Management and Intergovernmental Affairs and Performance Audit Committees for the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers and is a member of the National State Auditors Association. Prior to serving as State Auditor, Pickering served as a State Senator from 2004-2007 representing Jones County and is credited for co-authorizing legislation allowing Mississippi to end lawsuit abuse. Throughout his political career, Pickering has made tremendous strides in creating more accountability and transparency in government and continues to promote fiscal responsibility and the need for more efficiency and productivity in government. For more information on Stacey Pickering, visit www.osa.state.ms.us/auditors-bio.htm.

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Letter to Clarke County (http://www.osa.ms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2011/ClarkeCountyLetter.pdf)