Audit: KY official apparently used blank checks in thefts

Former Estill County Judge-Executive Wallace Taylor.

Former Estill County Decide-Executive Wallace Taylor.

It’s no top secret there have been some money complications in Estill County govt a few yrs ago due to the fact a former judge-govt pleaded guilty in link with thieving income, but a new audit consists of additional depth on the troubles.

The new findings bundled that $4,405 gained by the animal shelter for adoption charges was by no means deposited — which means it may perhaps have been stolen — and that the county paid for a lot more than $5,700 in buys that may well have been for particular use since of weak controls more than county credit rating playing cards.

The questioned investing involved purchases of applications, deck-creating products and appliances this sort of as a window air conditioner that price $807 and an electrical vary that price $474.

Many of the objects had been not mentioned in the county’s inventory for the duration of the audit, the report reported.

The report from the office of state Auditor Mike Harmon, produced Tuesday, claimed findings would be referred to Kentucky Point out Police, Legal professional Normal Daniel Cameron and the state Division for Area Govt for possible stick to-up.

The audit included the fiscal calendar year ending June 30, 2017. The decide-executive throughout the 12 months was Wallace Taylor.

Taylor resigned later in 2017 and was indicted in 2018 on one felony cost of abuse of community trust.

Taylor pleaded responsible, admitting he stole far more than $38,000 from grant funds the county experienced obtained, in accordance to an Oct 2019 news launch from then-Attorney Normal Andy Beshear, whose workplace prosecuted.

Taylor, who died previously this 12 months, was sentenced to three several years in prison, diverted for 5 many years. The sentence also involved $38,850 in restitution to the county, in accordance to the launch.

Taylor stole some of the income from a grant the county had been given for a toilet-renovation undertaking at the courthouse in Irvine, in accordance to the audit issued Tuesday.

The audit cited several accounting complications during the 2017 fiscal yr, together with inaccuracies in worker spend and retirement withholding shelling out devoid of essential acquire orders insufficient monitoring of paying out failure to get bids on some purchases and staff members sharing passwords to the economic accounting system, building a chance of “undetected fraud, mistakes, misstatements.”

There were being so quite a few accounting shortcomings in the 2017 fiscal year that auditors couldn’t type through the textbooks perfectly sufficient to categorical an view on the county’s fiscal assertion.

In a response, recent Choose-Executive Donnie Russell Watson, a Republican elected after Taylor still left place of work, and other officers said the county has manufactured a number of modifications to fix the difficulties recognized in the audit, or is in the method of accomplishing so.

Responding to a finding about 1 way Taylor seemingly stole income — requesting blank checks from the treasurer — the county’s present-day administration preferred to make apparent these times are gone.

“THIS WILL NOT Happen. Interval,” the response stated.

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