Report is first of several as citizen-mandated audit of Clay County continues
Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) In the first of several reports to be released as part of the citizen-mandated audit of Clay County, Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today issued an audit of the Clay County Clerk. The report received an overall rating of “good”.
“Citizens requested my office take a comprehensive look at county operations in an effort to hold their government accountable. This is the first of several reports that will be issued as that work continues,” Auditor Galloway said. “We found some areas in need of additional checks and balances in the county clerk’s office. It appears the office is working quickly to implement the recommendations.”
The clerk’s office collects fees for various permits and applications. Those fees totaled between $300,000 and $400,000 during the past two fiscal years.
The report recommended improvements to several processes to prevent risk of loss, theft or misuse of the funds collected by the clerk’s office. This includes ensuring all receipts are recorded and that funds are quickly transmitted to the county treasurer.
The audit of Clay County was initiated after a citizen petition was submitted to the State Auditor’s Office and then verified to have more than the minimum 5,590 signatures of county residents who are registered voters. The audit began in December 2018.
In January 2019, the Clay County Commission sued to prevent the Auditor from conducting the citizen-mandated audit. An Oct. 24, 2019, court ruling confirmed the Auditor’s legal authority to conduct performance audits and dismissed the County Commission’s lawsuit against the Auditor. County Commission officials have failed to fulfill records requests, resulting in Auditor Galloway issuing subpoenas on Nov. 8 and Nov. 22 to require documents and testimony. On Dec. 4, the State Auditor’s Office filed in Clay County court to demand compliance with the subpoenas. The case is moving through the court.
Audit work is ongoing for reports on the county collector’s office, sheriff’s office, recorder’s office and county commission.