Special audit reports findings at local County Attorney Offices

Christian and Todd County were among nine County Attorney Offices that were audited by Kentucky Auditor Mike Harmon’s office recently and found issues.

According to the Office of the Auditor, the special examination of those nine offices came after an initial survey of 16 county attorney offices from across the Commonwealth, and nine offices were selected for further examination based on survey results. These nine offices were in Boyd, Breathitt, Christian, Clark, Gallatin, Knox, Lawrence, Pike and Todd Counties.  The County Attorney Offices in Boyd, Lawrence and Gallatin have identified issues that will forwarded onto federal law enforcement.

In Christian County, the report states they found issues of ‘poor accounting and record keeping practices, along with questionable spending identified at County Attorney Offices’ and ‘not submitting excess cold check fees to the Fiscal Court as required by Kentucky Revised Statute’.  In clarification, the report states that in June 2017, nine employees of the Christian County Attorney’s Child Support Division were each paid for 45 unused vacation days in violation of the Christian County Attorney’s Child Support Division Employee Policy Manual. The payments to each of the employees totaled $6,109.

In a response from County Attorney John Soyars, who was not County Attorney at the time, it states that the payment of those vacation days was approved at that time by the Commonwealth’s Division of Child Support.  He also notes that Christian Fiscal Court approved a resolution in 2018 that allow the County Attorneys’ Office to retain access fees associated with cold check collections.  He says that by abiding by the resolution, it was his belief they were keep with KRS since Fiscal Court was are of the funds, which he calls a ‘rainy day fund’.

In Todd County, the reported findings were failed to turn over excess cold check fees to their respective fiscal court, poor accounting and record keeping practices, such as in March 2018, the former Todd County Attorney’s Office debit card incurred a $310 payment to a debt collector for an unpaid AT&T bill.

County Attorney Jeff Traughber’s response states the office will utilize the entire report and its findings to improve the policies and practices of the Office of the County Attorney to the maximum extent possible.