Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today issued a follow-up report on the operations of the Village of Leasburg, located in Crawford County. The initial audit, released in November 2015, found thousands of dollars in missing funds and called for a significant overhaul of the village's oversight procedures. In light of the serious issues identified in the audit, including altered financial records and nepotism concerns, village operations received an overall rating of "poor," and auditors returned for a follow-up review this year.
"Too often, problems like the ones we initially found in Leasburg go unnoticed because there are inadequate checks and balances to protect taxpayer funds," Auditor Galloway said. "Our team returned for a follow-up due to the serious nature of the allegations related to missing public money and altered financial records. The village's Board of Trustees has taken some initial steps but more must be done to safeguard public resources."
Auditors determined that the village has not taken corrective action for weaknesses identified regarding obtaining annual financial audits, submitting financial information to the Auditor's Office, or including all necessary information in the village's budget. Leasburg officials are working to put new procedures in place to track accounting activities and conduct independent reviews of employees' bookkeeping responsibilities. The village has also increased cybersecurity protections for residents' private information and worked to ensure officeholders do not have conflicts of interest when making decisions on behalf of the village Board of Trustees.
In total, auditors identified 25 findings to evaluate during the follow-up review. Ten recommendations were completed. For nine other recommendations progress has been made or recommendations were partially implemented. Recommendations for six findings had not been addressed, and no specific plans had been made to act on those recommendations. The follow-up review was primarily completed by May 2016. The information in the report is deemed accurate through that time. A link to the follow-up report is available here.