After revealing theft in City of Winona, Auditor Galloway finds improvements to better protect taxpayer dollars

Efforts underway to address concerns related to city oversight, accounting procedures and record keeping

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo (May 1, 2019)--Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released a follow-up review of government operations in the City of Winona, located in Shannon county. The report is a review of progress made since a citizen-requested audit was issued in September 2018 indicating more than $42,000 was missing and unaccounted for over the course of at least two years.

"Although our initial review of the City of Winona was deeply concerning, the city has demonstrated a desire to restore public trust by implementing many of the corrective actions outlined in my report," Auditor Galloway said. "I encourage officials to continue to improve their government processes and take steps to safeguard public tax dollars."

The audit released in September 2018 found missing cash and checks that were recorded, but never deposited. In an effort to prevent detection, unrecorded check payments were substituted for missing cash.  During follow-up review, city officials indicated they are continuing to work with local law enforcement. The former city clerk was criminally charged with stealing in December 2018.

The follow up review found officials made significant improvements to oversight procedures for documenting cash, issuing receipt slips and depositing money. To improve record keeping and better track city funds, the city has taken action to consolidate 15 city bank accounts into four accounts. Progress has also been made related to oversight of payroll, disbursements, budgeting and financial reporting.

In total, auditors identified 26 areas of concern to evaluate during the follow-up review. Ten recommendations were implemented. For 15 other recommendations, progress has been made or recommendations were partially implemented. The recommendation for one finding had not been addressed, and no specific plans had been made to act on the recommendation.

A full copy of the progress report can be found here.

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