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County audit clean, likely the last of embezzlement effects

Article Date: 
16 August, 2013 (All day)

The effects that Garth Day’s malfeasance had on the budget is likely behind Morgan County, according to the 2012 audit presented last week.
“When we were here in 2010 we thought this whole embezzlement thing would be cleared up,” said Cathie Hurst, a certified public accountant with Ulrich & Associates.  “When I was out auditing (this year) I was surprised there was more stuff.  But you are probably to the end of it, which probably feels like a big relief for all of you,” she told the Morgan County Council.
Ulrich & Associates issued a clean opinion of the county’s 2012 budget, with revenues exceeding expenditures.  Hurst said the general fund went up $127,000.
“It is commendable you are increasing your fund balances,” she said.  “It is nice to see positive numbers. Overall the funds are very healthy.”
A healthy budget along with assets purchased in 2012 such as computer equipment, a tractor, fairground property and sheriff’s department vehicles shows “you are doing pretty well,” Hurst said.
There were limited findings reported in the 2012 audit including that the mineral lease went into  a “deficit fund position, which is illegal by state standards,” Hurst said.  She said all the revenue brought in was spent, plus the fund balance.
Morgan County Council Chairwoman Tina Kelley said the mineral lease was used to fund parks and the fair last year, but the council has already made plans to use the restaurant tax for those purposes in the future.
Hurst praised the council for plans to spend down restricted amounts such as the restaurant tax.
“It is so much nicer to have unrestricted funds,” she said.
Hurst also cautioned the county to distribute tax money by the 10th of each month.
Many departments spent almost exactly what they had budgeted, displaying that the county’s money is being monitored closely, she said.