State audit of Putnam County "frustrating;" separate report on hospital to come

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway described the latest audit of Putnam County as "frustrating" Tuesday (Photo: KTVO)

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway described an audit of Putnam County as “frustrating,” and has set aside a separate audit of Putnam County Memorial Hospital for the future.

The Auditor’s office released its findings Tuesday, which Galloway said shows that little effort has been made to correct issues from previous audits.

“It’s frustrating when we see some of these same issues over and over again, even after officials receive clear recommendations to assist in addressing the concerns,” Galloway said in a statement. “Public officials must ensure appropriate levels of review and oversight are in place when their offices are dealing with sensitive information and public dollars.”

Of particular note to Galloway’s office was a lack of accounting controls in “a number of county offices.” The audit identified about $3,000 in compensation owed to victims in six separate court cases that County Prosecutor Tom Keedy’s office had not disbursed, despite auditors finding that the money had been in its possession for at least three years, “and in some cases, for more than a decade.” Similar concerns appeared in the county’s last two audit reports.

In addition, the audit found that Sheriff Jason Knight’s office was not keeping inventory records of e-cigarettes or phone cards kept at the county jail, and that inmates were not given receipts when making deposits or purchases.

The audit initially included a review of Putnam County Memorial Hospital, but due to the "concerning nature of some of the findings," a separate audit focused solely on the hospital's finances and operations is planned. Spokeswoman Gena Terlizzi told KTVO Tuesday afternoon that auditors will likely not know the full scope of what the hospital's audit is likely to entail until the end of September.

Putnam County received an overall performance rating of “fair.”

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