State Audit Recommends Improvements to Oversight of Municipal Court's Accounting
State Auditor Susan Montee was in Springfield last night to discuss her recent audit of the city's municipal court. The audit details a system that lacked oversight and made it possible for more than 1 point 3 million dollars to go missing. KSMU's Missy Shelton was at last night's meeting and files this report.
State Auditor Susan Montee told a group of about 30 people how serious the lack of oversight had been at the Springfield Municipal Court.
The release of Montee's audit comes less than a month after the court's former accounting services representative pleaded guilty to one count of theft.
According to the audit, more than 1 point 3 million dollars was quote-misappropriated from July 1, 1997 to June 13, 2006.
The audit also found that not all of that is city money. Montee says the city owes some of the money--about 13 percent to various funds.
Several members of Springfield City Council were at last night's meeting.
Mayor Tom Carlson was also there.
During last night's meeting, State Auditor Susan Montee noted that municipal courts are uniquely susceptible to fraud if systems aren't in place to account for money coming in and out of the court. Montee says that while municipal courts handle money for cities but cities may not provide direct oversight of the court.
Mayor Tom Carlson says that's part of what led to the missing money in Springfield's Municipal Court.
Copies of the audit which include the auditor's recommendations and the response from the city, court and police chief are available from the auditor's office.