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Mercer Sheriff’s Office Gets Clean Audit For 2019

Sheriff Ernie Kelty

Robert Moore

Herald Staff

The Mercer County Sheriff’s Office has received its audit for the year which ended Dec. 31, 2019.

As required by state law, the Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts reviewed the receipts, disbursements and excess fees. The  sheriff’s office received a clean audit, but the state auditor noted  that the office has not implemented segregation of duties.

“The lack of segregation of duties over financial reporting significantly increases the risk of financial misstatement due to error, waste, fraud, or abuse,” the auditor wrote. “Good internal controls dictate the same employee should not handle, record, and reconcile receipts.”

This is a repeat finding, the auditor noted.

In his official response, Sheriff Ernie Kelty said that, with only two clerks in the office that handle all clerical and bookkeeping duties, it is impossible to adequately segregate duties over receipts.

“I will insure that I will continue implementing compensating controls with strong management oversight by continuing to cross check daily check out reports and deposit tickets,” Kelty said.

Reached for comment Tuesday, Kelty said he was happy with how the audit went

“It went really well,” Kelty said.

He said his office just does not have enough staff. He said he reviews and doublechecks everything.

“We try to watch everything we’re doing,” Kelty said.

The auditor noted that the sheriff’s office had over $1.1 million in total receipts for the year ending Dec. 31, 2019, with $500,000 coming in commission on taxes collected. The sheriff’s office had a little over $1 million in total disbursements with $656,012 in deputies’ gross salaries. Net receipts were $103,474, with $4,200 in excess fees paid to the Mercer County Fiscal Court on March 12.

Sheriff Kelty said it can be difficult to do everything with a small department, but said he and his staff tried their best to honestly account for everything.

“That’s what the audit is for,” Kelty said. “We want to make sure we’re absolutely transparent with everything. It’s the taxpayers’ money.”

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