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Clay County may lose federal grant money for drug task force due to audit delays

Posted: 10:33 PM, Nov 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-15 00:27:45-05
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LIBERTY, Mo. — The Clay County Sheriff's Office may not receive a federal grant for more than $250,000 to combat drug trafficking because it has not submitted a 2018 audit.

According to county documents obtained by 41 Action News, the grant "cannot be approved" until the yearly outside audit is submitted.

Clay County is currently waiting on RSM, a private firm hired to complete the audit for the county, to deliver its 2018 report.

The County has contacted RSM for its annual independence audit since 2016. The terms of the contract require a copy to be provided to Clay County by June 30.

According to emails obtained by 41 Action News, the audit was delayed, but county officials with the sheriff's office still expected to receive a completed report before Sept. 30.

However, RSM has yet to deliver the audit, and the reason for the delay remains unclear.

A spokesperson for RSM responded Thursday to a request for comment from 41 Action News by saying, "As a matter of policy, we do not comment publicly on any client matters."

The annual RSM audit is separate from the citizen-initiated audit by the state, which Clay County is currently fighting.

That audit by Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway's office was initiated after thousands of citizens signed and submitted a petition. It is separate from the yearly audit required for the federal grant.

According to a letter sent by Galloway to the county, "audit standards and federal regulations do not mandate the financial and single audits be dependent on (the state auditor's) performance audit."

In a letter to North Kansas City Police Chief Steve Beamer, the assistant county administrators agreed with Galloway, writing in part, "Clay County is in complete agreement with the State Auditor, and we have authorized our our Chief County Counselor to proceed with all remedies available."

The Clay County Drug Task Force is funded in part by the quarter-million dollar federal grant.