Grundy audit brings probe into possible theft in health department
By Sarwat S. Ahmad Correspondent January 9, 2013 1:52PM
Updated: February 11, 2013 7:29AM
The Grundy County sheriff and state’s attorney’s offices are investigating a possible case of theft and fraud in the county’s health department.
During her annual audit report for the year ended Nov. 30 to the Grundy County Board on Tuesday night, Tawnya Mack of Mack & Associates Certified Public Accountants told the board that a “significant deficiency” had been uncovered during the firm’s audit of the county’s finances.
According to Mack, routine tests done on at least two cash deposits for the health department detected that at least $4,600 was missing.
“It could be more,” Mack said. Additional testing revealed that records had been changed to cover up the discrepancy, she said.
“Irregularities” had been brought to the attention of the firm last June, Mack said, at which time new control procedures were put into place and no further irregularities were discovered.
“We turned over our records to the sheriff’s department and the state’s attorney and an investigation is ongoing,” she said later.
The board did go into a closed session to discuss the issue.
Later, both State’s Attorney Jason Helland and board Chairman Ron Severson said that they could not elaborate on the specifics of the ongoing investigation until it is completed. Helland would say that there is at least one health department employee being investigated.
Severson said the health department is working alongside the sheriff and the state’s attorney to resolve the issue, he said.
Among the findings, the auditors noted that “the health department does not have an adequate accounting system and chart of accounts for recording and tracking grant revenues and expenditures, as well as fees and related expenditures.”
The firm did note that the department is now in the process of replacing its current ledger system with “a more appropriate accounting software.”