An investigative report of the Arkansas Legislative Audit (ALA) dated Sept. 22 for the City of Prescott's Police Dept. was revealed to have found unaccounted funds totaling $38,078 in the department's Bond and Fine Accounts, according to a copy of the report obtained Friday by the Nevada County Picayune.
An investigative report of the Arkansas Legislative Audit (ALA) dated Sept. 22 for the City of Prescott’s Police Dept. was revealed to have found unaccounted funds totaling $38,078 in the department’s Bond and Fine Accounts, according to a copy of the report obtained Friday by the Nevada County Picayune.
The investigative report further stated that “manual receipt books for the period August 15, 2016 through December 19, 2016, could not be located; therefore, the actual amount of unaccounted for funds could be higher.”
The investigative report also stated that “Unreceipted checks totaling $34,544 were deposited in the Bond and Fine Account, apparently to conceal the unaccounted for funds consisting primarily of cash. These checks included service fees and accident report revenue totaling $10,566 that should have been deposited in the Police Equipment Fund.”
The ALA Summary statement said “The Administrative Assistant, who resigned from employment in December 2016, was custodian of the funds and responsible for bank deposits. Several internal control deficiencies contributed to funds being misappropriated and management not detecting the misappropriation timely.”
In a response letter by City of Prescott Police Chief Joseph A. Beavers and co-signed by Mayor Terry Oliver, Beavers said, “Approximately mid-January 2017, our new Administrative Assistant Beverly Evans began to find discrepancies in the monies in our Bond and Fine account and our Dept. Equipment Fund. She immediately brought her findings to Chief Russell’s attention, who began researching the issue himself.”
Brian Russell was Prescott’s previous Chief of Police, who had retired in March, and Beavers assumed the position on March 7, 2017.
In the Beavers response letter,
Beavers said that Russell contacted the Prosecuting Attorney’s office to request the audit.
Beavers further states in his response that “determining that we had deficiencies in accounting and fiscal oversight procedures, the following changes were put into place:”
“One, all voided receipts, calculation adjustments, etc. are witnessed and initialed by the Chief of Police or member of the command staff;
“Two, all receipts are reconciled within our internal spreadsheet accounting system, that in turn, has to reconcile with the Virtual Justice accounting system utilized by the Nevada County District Court;
“Three, our deposit and check register must reconcile with the records maintained by the Nevada County District Court;
“Four, as a result of your (audit) report, we will also begin to have at least a quarterly Audit and Reconciliation conducted by our city manager.”
The ALA Summary also said the investigative report had been forwarded to the Eighth-North Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Christi McQueen.