Sheriff earns ‘perfect’ audit

Published 1:00 am Saturday, October 22, 2016

After two violation-laden audits, an audit released Friday of the Covington County Sheriff’s office was perfect.

The newest audit by the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts was for the period of July 1, 2015 until Aug. 31, 2016.

In June, Sheriff Dennis Meeks told the Star-News that his department was working diligently to correct citations in his audit that covered March 1, 2012, through June 30, 2015 and unresolved findings from the department’s 2012 audit.

“The last audit, there were certainly some bookkeeping errors,” Meeks said. “But all the monies were accounted for.”

The audit had cited a total of 13 violations – nine new and four old.

Meeks disputed the unresolved finding of there not being an equipment inventory listing.

“Since that time, we looked at our findings and how we needed to proceed in correcting those findings,” the sheriff said. “We made several changes within our bookkeeping system that now makes all of those accounts more streamlined and efficient.”

The sheriff said with the changes that his department has implemented he has more control and accountability.

“Now, any month if I want to look at any account from the revenues and any disbursements, it’s easy to view them.”

Those accounts include law enforcement fund, sex offender registration fees, removal of prisoners, work release fund, prisoners’ money on deposit fund, inmate trust fund, general office fund and food and service allowance.

From July 1,2015 until Aug. 31, 2016,

  • the law enforcement fund received $314,757.28 it disbursed $294,913. Of the money received in that account, $148,040 was from pistol permit fees; $5,200 from sex offender registration fees; $18,173.13 for bail bond fees; $13,347.55 for removal of prisoners and $101,703.59 for vending sales. There was also $28,293 under line item donations, refunds and miscellaneous.

The department disbursed $5,200 to the county commission for sex offender fees; $31,230.20 for salaries and overtime; $122,612.77 for law enforcement expenses; $14,203.93 for jail supplies and expenses; $107,772.70 for equipment purchases and $13,893.77 for miscellaneous.