Hed: Irregularities uncovered in Corinth city court fine system

Hed: Irregularities uncovered in Corinth city court fine system

By Jane Clark Summers

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – An annual independent audit of the books and records of the city of Corinth has uncovered apparent irregularities in the accounting system of the city court.

The audit indicated there were numerous times when partial payment receipt numbers were duplicated or posted to more than one account, Mayor Jerry Latch said in a news release Wednesday.

The city does not know how much, if any, money is unaccounted for at this time, Latch said. All prenumbered receipts have been accounted for, but preliminary findings indicate that $7,000 to $8,000 might be unaccounted for or missing, Latch said.

“At a minimum, the audit findings revealed sloppy bookkeeping in the part-pay system,” Latch said.

The case has been turned over to the state Audit Department for further investigation, the mayor said. The audit period was for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 1995.

According to early findings, some people making partial payment on their fines were given photocopies of their part-pay card as a receipt rather than the actual pegboard duplicate receipt. After the discrepancies were discovered, the city’s Municipal Court clerk wrote letters to those persons affected asking that they bring in their receipts or photocopies for inspection, Latch said.

The city has received few responses to the letters.

In order to reduce the possibility of similar occurrences in the future, the city court office is being reorganized, the part-pay procedure is being revised to reduce the number of people handling money, and a computerized accounting system for part-pay accounts is being instituted on Oct. 1, the mayor said.

City officials acknowledged that an employee in the city court clerk’s office resigned in recent weeks but would not draw a connection between the resignation and the bookkeeping problems.

No charges have been filed in the case.