Audit turns up problems with records, receipts

The village will probably face fines due to the missing material, a council member said.
CRAIG BEACH -- For the next few days, categorizing, sorting and organizing will likely be among the duties council members will take on as they try to correct a problem that's almost two years old.
Council called a special meeting Monday to explore ways to repair problems confirmed by a recent audit. Many records and receipts from 2003 that reflected village transactions and other business were misplaced, said council member Wanda Sabol.
Sabol said that state law requires checks to be deposited no more than three days after being written. From October 2003 to February 2004, however, no deposits had been made, she noted.
The village also had to deal with bills from that year that had late fees attached, she added. Sabol was unable to provide a dollar amount of the bills or any other figures.
Exploring options
Sabol said that council considered several options for straightening out the problems, such as having the state auditor's office assemble a team to get the records in order. Doing so would require a fee, she said.
Another possibility was to set up a records commission consisting of Mayor Larry Ellis, the clerk, the village's attorney and perhaps others to do the job of sorting.
After Monday's meeting, it appeared council members were exercising a third option: sorting through various documents themselves. That task had them separating the checks and receipts they have and placing them in numerical order by check number and dates, Sabol said.
Most likely, fines will be levied because of the missing documents and late fees, she said.
Clerk Lori Becker said she met with state auditors for three hours Thursday to address the problems. Becker, who has served in that capacity since February 2004, said many checks had been in a drawer after they should have been taken to the bank.
"This is a mess," she said.

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