Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by Bob Hudson, Nov 9, 2015.
IT WASN'T a "WITCH HUNT"
We probably need to find another auditor.
Why would you not go after those who actually owe the money?
Does anyone think CRI will actually cut the check?
They should absolutely get that money from the developers that got away with it and they should absolutely get that money from CRI. for failing to do the job of auditing completely and fairly IMO. Thank you Bob for successfully apprehending the 'witch'. ; )
Walton County didn't do it's job properly and now they want to go after an accounting firm for the losses because they didn't catch them not doing their job properly. Seems like a silly remedy and more of a blame shift. Not surprised since it is Walton County, Fl.
I assume the auditing firm assumes responsibility when they take the job and are on the hook. Must be a tough notice to get. I assume they have professional liability insurance that will cover it. Developers are probably long gone and/or broke.
Leave it to Walton County to place blame at the feet of CRI (who just so happens to have a jucy insurance policy)...
How about County Officials hold the employees and their supervisors responsible. Where is the culling of department heads? Discipline letters?
Going after CRI will bite the county in the rear...
Walton blames accounting firm for error, demands $1 million reimbursement
By The Associated Press
Posted Nov 10, 2015 at 1:28 PM
Updated at 1:34 PM
Walton County is blaming the accounting firm of Carr Riggs and Ingram for auditing oversights that have cost it over $1 million in the last decade.
A letter sent Thursday to CRI founding member Stephen Riggs demands repayment, with interest, of $1,075,635.75 in lost recreational plat fees and taxpayer dollars erroneously sent to the city of DeFuniak Springs as “Road and Bridge monies.”
“Please know that the county will pursue available civil remedies should you refuse to pay that amount as demanded,” said the letter, signed by Walton County Attorney Mark Davis.
Riggs acknowledged receiving the letter from Walton County, but said it had been forwarded to Hilton Galloway, the director of CRI’s governmental accounting and auditing division in Enterprise, Alabama.
Galloway failed to return several phone calls seeking comment.
Davis notes in the letter that audits conducted by CRI failed to turn up evidence that in 2005, “on two separate occasions, the (county) Planning Department failed to assess and collect recreational plat fees.”
The discovery of one of those failed collections, an accounting error that resulted in the county being paid $614.25 of $614,250, helped spark a grand jury investigation of the Planning Department.
The investigation, which led to the indictment of former Walton County Planning Director Pat Blackshear on charges of perjury, turned up a second accounting error for which $20,560.25 was charged on a $205,560.25 invoice.
Blackshear has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“Your firms audit of that department failed to discover those discrepancies,” Davis said in his letter to Carr Riggs and Ingram. “Such a failure caused Walton County to lose $796,635.74.”
The county also wants reimbursement for the last five years worth of funds the county has been sending to the city of DeFuniak Springs for more than 100 years.
Bob Hudson, the executive director of the Walton County Taxpayer’s Association, was the first to question the “road and bridge” allocation to the city.
He said his research indicated the city first asked the county for a road and bridge allocation in 1914, after some livestock, cows and/or mules, were electrocuted on a roadway.
The county’s been cutting a check every year since, Hudson said.
The annual allocation was revealed this year when the county Tax Collector’s Office changed to a software system that separated the road and bridge payment from others, Hudson said.
When he asked Davis and County Administrator Larry Jones about the assessment, neither knew anything about it he said.
Davis called upon CRI to reimburse the county for road and bridge payments made “over the previous five tax years.”
“Your firm’s audit failed to disclose this payment,” his letter said. “Walton County, Florida was damaged because of your failure.”
I don't understand why anyone is critical of attempting to recover taxpayer funds lost from the auditor. I don't think this action prohibits other actions like going after the developers and/or disciplinary actions. However, failure to attempt to collect from the firm hired to prevent or find these issues seems like a dereliction of duty. I am just surprised that someone had the intestinal fortitude to send the letter.
Kind of pointless and just a little unethical if not illegal to write someone up after they separate from employment. And if I'm not mistaken, everyone involved with the uncollected rec fees is already gone.
I have to wonder if something as complex as the finances of a multi department county if there aren't different types of audits that can be conducted and the one ordered wasn't designed to catch this type of discrepency. As in an audit to only compare receipts against expenditures. I'm not in that field so are there any accountants out there with a learned opinion?
I believe there are at least 2 remaining accomplices.
Sara Commander, who was well aware of the money to her beloved DeFuniak (remember, she was the only vote for continuing to feed DFS). She damn well has know about this handout.
Bill Imfeld, was finance director at time with the "errors".
Both need to resign and never return.
Almost sounds like witch hunter Sara is already gearing up for a DFS Council run with her support for the roads money.
When does the County take responsibility?
I would think an accounting firm would have some type of clause in their contracts to avoid just such a liability.
I'm sure CRI's insurer has the resources to, and will use them, to investigate this before they pay one dime. Hopefully the sunshine will shine brilliantly on this.
I am not sure Commissioner Comander lives in the city. I do believe that was a question that once was asked on this forum in the past.
She DOES NOT live inside the City Limits ! Pays no City of DFS taxes
This is money the County has actually discovered missing and the Auditor General hasn't even started the forensic audit of the planning dept...yet. How much more will that "UNCOVER"?
Bill Imfeld has allot of culpability in this...more so than Sara Comander ever dreamed of having. The builder/developer (broke or not) owes that money to the County and should have gotten a letter of intent to sue from the County if that money is not returned. Liens against any property McCormick currently owns should have been levied.
This isn't about holding anyone accountable it's about passing the buck and hoping it will simply go away.
As for the money being paid to the City, Clayton Adkinson has been the City attorney for as far back as I can remember (35 or 40 years maybe more) and he had to know the County did not owe that money to Defuniak. Why aren't we asking the City to return money they weren't owed?
I don't think Sara Commander is any more culpable in any of this than Bill Chapman, or Cindy Meadows or Larry Jones or Cecilia Jones or Kenneth Pridgen or any of the others who have served as county commissioner during the last 25-30 years. I have talked to a few of these people who are no longer in office and have no skin in the game anymore and they say they knew nothing about the payments to the City of DFS. I doubt anyone did until Bob Hudson brought it to their attention. That may be a problem in and of itself but they all share it equally.
Misty, great points.
Once again, find a rock, turn it over, there's that name once again...ADKINSON.
Has anyone asked him about the $$$?
Separate names with a comma.