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CALDWELL COUNTY, MO (2009-09-25) A State Audit of Caldwell County's operations shows finances need a lot of attention.
Auditors say even on several major funds, Caldwell County's clerk and collector treasurer couldn't explain various items, and several receipts and disbursement amounts in the County budget and financial statements didn't match. Auditors also say the budgets prepared by the Caldwell County clerk are inaccurate, don't show a true picture of some of the County's funds, and even leave out some information required by state law. Investigators also found County funds were being used to buy gifts for various County employees, including 4 laptop computers and software, cash bonuses, a rifle given to a sheriff's deputy, and $50 gift vouchers given to all sheriff's department, detention center, and 911 employees. They also found the former sheriff of Caldwell County was paid $725 to attend a sheriff's training session in October of last year that he didn't attend. And nearly $3.5 million were taken from the law enforcement sales tax and given to the general fund, but auditors say documentation to support the transfer was insufficient to ensure that amount was reasonable. Other findings of the Caldwell County audit relate to travel expenses, payroll policies, procedures of planning and zoning, and operations in the circuit clerk's office, sheriff's office, and detention center.
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