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Scott Co. sheriff has audit trouble

GEORGETOWN — An audit of the Scott County Sheriff's Office finances for 2007 revealed that more than $10,000 collected by the sheriff's office was missing, according to a report released Friday.

The report from State Auditor Crit Luallen's office found that daily bank deposits did not match daily collection reports for April 25, 2007, through April 30, 2008, resulting in a deficit of $10,273, according to the release.

On Friday, the audit, which is conducted each year in accordance with state law, was referred to the state attorney general's office, which will review the case to decide whether it warrants further investigation.

Scott County Sheriff Bobby Hammons said he could not pinpoint where the money went. He said his office collects a lot of money — property taxes and a myriad of fees — and there are sometimes mix-ups, such as when they have a double bill on one property.

"I'm not making excuses," Hammons said. "It's just that a lot of things can happen."

Luallen's office has recommended that Hammons pay the deficit from his personal funds.

On Friday, Hammons said he was still saving up the money.

Hammons said he faced a similar problem in 2006 when an audit of the sheriff's 2005 tax account showed an $18,767 deficit.

That money was later found in an old safe that was moved across the street to the department's new offices.

The 2007-08 audit recommended several security measures that the sheriff's office is to implement, such as assigning drawers to individual employees and installing a video camera at the front desk where money is collected. The auditor also recommended that employees lock the cash drawers while absent from their desks.

Hammons said the sheriff's office had not installed a video camera, but had implemented all of the other security measures recommended in the audit.

In addition to the more than $10,000 deficit, Luallen's audit said a man was working full-time as a sworn deputy sheriff but was not certified by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council and had not attended training with the Department of Criminal Justice Training in Richmond.

Several certified court security officers were also working as deputy sheriffs, according to the report.

Hammons said the man, Garnett Anderson, drives a van and transports prisoners.

He was improperly sworn in as a deputy sheriff instead of a jail employee because he did not attend a swearing-in ceremony on time, he said.

"I didn't even see him," said Hammons, who was being sworn in as sheriff on the same day. "I didn't know him."

Hammons said Anderson and the court security officers never performed any duties as deputy sheriffs.

A spokesman with the Department of Criminal Justice Training said they were notified in March 2008 that Anderson was now working for the road department. Hammons said Anderson still transports prisoners, but that function was moved from the jail to the road department.

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