KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An audit of a small Ray County, Missouri, town has revealed thousands of dollars of missing sewer payments during a three-year period.
Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway recommended that law enforcement become involved after publishing the results of the audit Wednesday, which had been requested by a citizen-initiated petition in Homestead.
A former city clerk for Homestead, which is located northeast of Excelsior Springs, failed to deposit $4,348 in customer sewer payments from Jan. 1, 2018, to Dec. 31, 2020. She also falsified a 2019 customer ledger to record payments she never made on her personal sewer bill.
“Based on the timing and amounts of missing money, it is likely additional money is missing in periods prior to January 2018,” according to the report from Galloway’s office.
The report indicates that at least $4,228 was recorded as received in cash but never deposited in the bank.
The “lack of segregation of duties, inadequate controls and the absence of oversight by the Board of Alderman” allowed the missing-money scheme to continue undetected for years.
The audit recommends that the Board of Alderman work with local law enforcement to prosecute the former city clerk and seek restitution.
"The former City Clerk betrayed her position of public trust. It is encouraging that city officials have committed to work with law enforcement to hold the former City Clerk accountable," Galloway said. "My office is prepared to assist them in any way they need because the taxpayers of Homestead Village deserve competence and accountability from their municipal government."
The audit gave Homestead a “poor” rating for accounting procedures, failure to assess late penalties or enforce shutoffs, the lack of annual city budgets as required by state law, failure to file IRS documents for the city attorney and former city clerk, and the board's failure to follow Sunshine Laws regarding open meetings.
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