published Thursday, January 26th, 2012

State auditors slam Grundy County for ongoing problems handling money

  • photo
    Blake Fontenay, a spokesman for the Republican Secretary of State
    Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

State auditors have found numerous problems in Grundy County’s finances, including questionable compensation and reimbursement for school employees, budget overruns by the county mayor and director of schools, and deficiencies in purchasing and documentation of expenditures.

The audit for fiscal 2011 by the Comptroller’s Division of County Audit contains 23 findings and recommendations, according to a news release from spokesman Blake Fontenay.

“Many of them deal with accounting practices that help ensure that public dollars are properly collected, recorded and spent or deposited,” Fontenay said.

Among the other findings, according to the statement:

 Three school employees received a total of more than $13,000 in questionable compensation;

Seven school employees each received $600 bonuses not approved by the county’s board of education;

Expenditures exceeded appropriations for both the county mayor’s office and the director of schools’ office;

Deficiencies were identified in the purchasing procedures for the director of schools’ office;

The sheriff’s office used improper procedures to receipt and disburse funds.

Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said Grundy County has had problems in the past with its financial record keeping.

“Our auditors like to see signs that problems and potential problems have been corrected. Also, the high number of findings suggests that maybe record-keeping practices aren’t being taken as seriously as they should,” Wilson said.

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