The Rhea County Commission Audit Committee reported back to the commission on the State Comptroller's report done of the county finances for the year ending June 2021, including eight findings of irregularities.
Jim Reed, chairman of the committee, reported that according to State Comptroller Jason Mumpower, the county was fiscally okay despite the findings that have since been corrected.
Reed said one of the most notable findings was that Director of Schools Jesse Messimer had signed a construction contract without the participation of the county’s finance Director Kelley Morgan. Mr. Reed said this has been corrected by the Audit Committee which consists of himself, Gary Bemm. Daryle Cochran, Brandon Germany, Bill Hollin, Perry Massengill, Kelly Mickel, Dayton City Manager Tommy Solomon and County Commissioner Leo Stephens.
Mr. Reed said the correction will be that all contracts will go through the Finance Director's office to be signed. He also noted that the state said the county had erred in not calculating and paying a part of issued debt with the school system to the City of Dayton as required by state statute. Mr. Reed explained that this was because they thought they wouldn’t have to pay the city of Dayton a part of the monies spent in constructing the new Central Office on Broadway. Mr. Reed said this was corrected by an amendment to the budget at the Tuesday regular meeting in the amount of $372,682.50 from the school’s budget to Dayton.
Mr. Reed said the report also noted that the Office of Clerk and Master did not review a list of void transactions by John Fine, Clerk and Master. He said this has been corrected
Under the office of Sheriff, it was noted that the animal shelter had some operating deficiencies one of which was the former finance director of the Sheriff’s Department had not made the deposits in a timely manner. The report said they were to be made within three days and they were not being done so. Mr. Reed said the new finance director for the Sheriff was doing this correctly now and the deficiency is being corrected. The auditor also noted that that the office did not review a list of the voided transactions from the Cobra Banker software. Mr. Reed said these are now being reviewed by the sheriff or the chief or another administrative employee if the sheriff and chief are unavailable. And the reports will be kept in the binder with other reports for Cobra Banker.
One of the other deficiencies noted was a segregation of financial duties. It was noted that an internal controls memo was issued as well as an excel spreadsheet completed and the sheriff and the department has complied to the best of their abilities.
The auditor also noted that none of these findings in any department were repeat findings and all have been corrected.