Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway today released the audit of the 43rd Judicial Circuit Clinton County Court. The audit noted concerns with the handling of contracts for a third-party vendor to provide misdemeanor probation and pre-trial/bond supervision services.
The judges of the circuit were involved with the formation of a not-for-profit association, appointment of its board members, and funding of start-up costs for the association. The association was then selected to provide supervision services for the court through a bidding process that appeared to give the not-for-profit association an unfair advantage.
"Missouri courts must be viewed as neutral, impartial decision-makers," Galloway said. "I'm encouraged that the judges of the 43rd Judicial Circuit have agreed to no longer be involved in appointing members of the association and implement audit recommendations."
The report found fees received through the supervision programs were held in a bank account maintained outside the county treasury. Payments from this account were approved by the court, instead of going through the standard county payment process, in violation of state law.
The report also found the Circuit Clerk is not performing bank account reconciliations timely or disbursing garnishment monies within the required time period. The Circuit Clerk did not adequately review cases to ensure monies were disbursed timely or evaluate the collectability of amounts owed to the court.
The report, which received a performance rating of "fair," is online here.
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