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Audit: Park employee stole $75,000

FRANKFORT — A former employee stole $75,000 from Kenlake State Resort Park, according to an audit that recommends ways the state can strengthen its financial oversight of state parks.

The former employee, Amy Hall, 35, has pleaded guilty to theft. She was sentenced Monday in Marshall Circuit Court to five years of probation and restitution for the park's financial loss.

State Auditor Crit Luallen's office worked with state police to investigate Hall's activities.

Kenlake officials found funds missing earlier this year and contacted state police. Parks officials and state police asked Luallen to examine park financial rec­ords.

A review found that $74,802 went missing at Kenlake between Sept. 1, 2005, and Feb. 29 of this year. Luallen said there were weak financial controls at Kenlake and the amount taken might have been greater than reported.

The audit said Hall, who handled all financial matters for the park, was able to take cash from the daily bank deposits and replace it with checks received in the mail — a process auditors refer to as a ”lapping scheme.“

Luallen's audit made several recommendations about ways the Department of Parks can strengthen its financial controls. They included internal audits at the parks and better accounting records.

Parks officials said in the audit that the department intends to implement all of Luallen's recommendations.

A complete copy of the audit is available at www.auditor.ky.gov.

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