The Starke County Council discussed the audit of the treasurer’s office at this week’s council meeting. The council, at the recommendation of President Mark Smith and 1st Source Bank gave Auditor Kay Chaffins the ability to monitor various bank accounts and checking accounts. Councilman Smith talked more about this action.
“What we did last night is, and it’s really more of a bank technicality, they were asking our permission to give Kay Chaffins, our auditor, permission to view accounts online and to request the actual printed statements on various bank accounts and checking accounts and that does not give her the ability to do any of the duties of the treasurer. It merely gives her the ability to look at those accounts and monitor the movement of the monies through those accounts, whether it be by check or electronic transfer. It just gives her a lot better handle on doing her job,” said Smith.
Casey Clark came before the commissioners to ask questions about how to run various functions in the office. Clark and Michelle Snowdon are running the office as interim deputies, since the treasurer Linda Belork was relieved of her duties after a state audit showed financial irregularities.
“The deputies in most offices are kind of the workhorse, they’re the ones that do the day-to-day work and that’s what we needed in that office and this interim so that payroll could be met and claims could be processed. But by no means are they able to do all the duties of the elected treasurer, so what is imperative here is that, in my opinion, is that the party caucus as soon as possible and get a treasurer back in that position,” said Smith.
The council also talked about hiring a forensic accounting firm to conduct an audit of the treasurer’s books and records dating back to 2009. Again here’s Councilman Smith.
“What it’s going to take is locating a firm that their expertise is exactly this kind of work, and hopefully in the very near future in the course of the next day or two, hopefully we will have located a firm that’s capable of giving us the answers that we need,” said Smith.