Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway has released an audit of the Lexington municipal court, located in Lafayette county in western Missouri. The audit raised concerns with oversight in the court, where one employee serves as both the court clerk and city clerk for the city of Lexington.
"Government at all levels must be accountable to the citizens it serves and that requires safeguards to ensure taxpayer dollars are managed wisely," Auditor Galloway said. "In cases where employees are responsible for managing multiple roles, other court or city personnel should review certain documents or work products to ensure accuracy and to safeguard against errors."
In cases where two signatures are required, such as checks written from court accounts, the clerk signs the check, and then uses a signature stamp for the second signature. This eliminates the benefit of requiring two signatures on a check. Similar concerns were identified for bond forfeiture documents, where the clerk applies the prosecutor's signature by using a signature stamp.
There was also a lack of accountability for traffic tickets issued by the police department. The audit recommends the court and police department work together to account for all tickets issued to ensure the tickets and associated payments are properly handled.
The Lexington court received an overall performance rating of good. An audit of the city is ongoing and is expected to be completed later this year. The city of Lexington audit was initiated through the petition process, which required 312 signatures.
A complete copy of the Lexington municipal court audit report is available here.