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Mercer To Receive Jail Refund

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Robert Moore
Herald Staff

Questions about Boyle County’s financial reporting on jail expenses continue with Mercer County officials asking for a refund.

At the latest meeting of the Mercer County-Boyle County Joint Jail Committee, Boyle Treasurer Darlene Lanham was unable to provide complete financial reporting.

“I’ve run into a little snag with the software,” said Lanham, who was unable to provide an accounts summary. Lanham said she would send it out to the board members later. Lanham told the Mercer County representatives there would be no need for their contribution beyond the $3,000 administrative fee.

“We’ve had an excess,” Lanham said. She said she was okay to wait until they got the May and June reconciled.

Mercer Judge-Executive Sarah Steele noted they were at the end of the fiscal year.

Former Boyle County Treasurer Mary Conley, who is serving as a consultant with Mercer County, said there was a balance of $511,858.57, of which Mercer’s share of $163,874.74. That does not include June.

“That’s a lot of money,” said Conley, especially at the end of the fiscal year. She noted there had been a lot of adjustments to the budget. “Are you going to write us a check and reconcile June?”

“I don’t feel like everything is reconciled,” Lanham said.

“Carrying this over to me is not beneficial to my budget,” Conley said. “Is Boyle County going to cut us a check?”

The financial reports from Boyle County have been plagued by issues since Conley’s retirement as Boyle County Treasurer in 2019. Since then, there have been abrupt changes in personnel—with Conley’s replacement, Keagan Hinkle, being fired by Boyle County for “neglect of duty” in 2021—as well as changes in software. For a while, Mercer County wasn’t asked for any contribution beyond the $3,000 monthly administration fee, which Lanham noted at the most recent meeting.

“There should be no questions on those months,” said Judge Steele, who noted Lanham had gone through the reports twice.
Lanham said she noted some errors which she attributed to the software

” I would just feel better if I went back,” she said.

“This is a half million dollars,” Conley said.

“I have to drill down until I can find this one number,” Lanham said. “I would like for them to be 100 percent correct. I don’t like to just throw numbers together.”

Boyle County Judge-Executive Trille Bottom recommended paying Mercer and reconciling June. Boyle Jailer Brian Wofford moved to approve the financial report and issue the check to Mercer. The motion passed unanimously.

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