When a deputy in the Garrard County clerk's office was indicted last fall on criminal charges related to money missing from that office, an exact amount wasn't available.
But on Monday, State Auditor Crit Luallen said the amount was $19,961.
County Clerk Stacy May contacted auditors in June upon discovering altered records in her office. The audit of the clerk's office for the year ending Dec. 31, 2009, was released Monday. It gives the first public accounting of a case that led to the criminal indictment of Elizabeth Lane, a deputy clerk who was fired last year.
In October, Lane was indicted on one count of theft by unlawful taking and 16 counts of "knowingly entering false, fraudulent, illegitimate or erroneous information" into the automated vehicle registration and titling system.
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The case is pending in Garrard Circuit Court. A status hearing is scheduled for March 18.
The auditor's report does not refer to Lane by name but says an employee of the clerk's office was able to conduct transactions for vehicle registrations and then later void all or part of the transaction. That resulted in 170 transactions totaling $3,247 being altered during the year and deposits being reduced to match the altered records.
The audit said this same activity took place during 2010 until it was discovered in June. For 2010, about 717 transactions totaling $16,714 were altered. The total amount of missing funds auditors identified was $19,961.
The state audit recommended that May implement approval procedures for voided transactions and review weekly reports.
During 2009, May did not have approval procedures in place for voided transactions. That allowed a situation in which an employee could void all or part of the transaction with no approval from a senior employee.
"We are spot-checking each other," May said Monday. "We're much more aware now."
Lane also was responsible for preparing the weekly reports. No other employee reviewed the reports for accuracy, and that allowed the altered transactions to go unnoticed, the audit said.
May said she did review weekly reports, "but I didn't go down line item by line item. I checked the summary page to make sure everything matched. But I didn't get into detail because if I wanted to do all that I might as well have been doing the report myself."
May told auditors that she and another deputy are compiling weekly reports now. One does the report, and the other checks for accuracy.
Overall, the 2009 audit found that the clerk's financial statement presents fairly the revenues, expenditures and excess fees of the clerk's office "in conformity with the regulatory basis of accounting."
Lane was a write-in candidate for county clerk but lost against May in the Nov. 2 election.