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Legislative audit finds $38,078 missing from PPD

By Staff, 10/17/17 10:48 AM


LITTLE ROCK – An audit of the Prescott Police Department was done at the request of the Eighth Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney concerning receipts and deposits for the PPD.

The audit covered the period of Feb. 18, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2016, with the objectives being to find if all funds were deposited into the proper bank accounts; and to see if the internal control over the PPD’s receipting and depositing process was adequate. The audit found a total of $38,078 unaccounted for during the period in question from the bond and fine account. It showed the dates of Aug. 15-Dec. 19, 2016 couldn’t be found and the actual amount missing could be higher.

According to the audit, unreceipted checks in the amount of $34,544 were deposited into the bond and fine account, “apparently to conceal the unaccounted for funds consisting primarily of cash.” These checks, the audit states, included service fees and accident report revenue in the amount of $10,566 that should have been deposited into the Police Equipment Fund.

Other discrepancies were also noted in the audit. They include: manual receipts not always being posted into the computer in a timely manner; receipts not always indicating the correct method of payment; some manual receipts nob being posted in the computer system, while others were posted for the wrong amount and/or to the wrong account; receipts weren’t identifiable with bank deposits; and some receipts were improperly altered; while others were improperly voided.

The audit determined the following internal control deficiencies: receipting and depositing duties were not properly segregated; manual receipts were not reconciled with bank deposits; and management did not provide adequate fiscal oversight.

The audit recommended all receipting and depositing duties be segregated to the extent possible and manual receipts be reconciled to bank deposit composition by cash and check. It also recommended management exercise proper fiscal oversight by establishing adequate internal controls where receipts and deposits are concerned and monitor them.

According to the report’s summary, “The administrative assistant who resigned from employment in December 2016, was custodian of the funds and responsible for bank deposits.” A copy of the audit and its findings have been sent to the prosecuting attorney’s office.

A letter from current PPD Chief Joseph Beavers to Kim Williams of Little Rock, involved with the audit, was sent in response to the report. It stated the former administrative assistant worked for the PPD from 2014-2016, and in mid-January 2017, Beverly Evans assumed these duties and found discrepancies in the bond and fine accounts, as well as the department’s equipment fund. Evans took this information to former PPD Chief Brian Russell, who began researching the issue, and, after determining there was a problem, he contacted the prosecuting attorney to have a departmental audit done. The audit would serve two purposes. First, for the discrepancy in the accounts; and second, Russell was planning on retiring in March 2017.

Beavers became chief on March 7, 2017, and, after determining there were problems in the accounting and fiscal oversight procedure made the following changes: all voided receipts, calculation adjustments, etc. were witnessed by the Chief of Police or a member of the command staff; all receipts were reconciled within the PPD’s internal spreadsheet accounting system, that, in turn, has to reconcile with the Virtual Justice accounting system used by the Nevada County District Court; the PPD deposit and check register must reconcile with records maintained by the district court; and as a result of the report, quarterly audits are being done and the reconciliation conducted by the city manager.

The audit’s methods used manual receipts, computer-generated reports, bank statements, deposit clips and garnishment records maintained by the PPD as well as deposit composition provided by the bank. It also interviewed members of the PPD and reviewed the internal controls in place at the time.

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