An audit released Tuesday by State Auditor Nicole Galloway has given the city of Forsyth a “poor” rating and reported thousands in missing funds.
The audit found a “lack of proper oversight” when it comes to city financial functions.
The audit states that more than $1,400 is missing from the city’s vault and another $2,000 in utility deposits were received but never deposited. The audit also found that thousands in utility deposits were not placed into the city’s accounts until long after service had been activated.
“My office stands ready to assist when financial concerns are identified. That’s exactly what we did when the Taney County Sheriff asked for our help to review accounting discrepancies that came to light after a theft from the city’s vault,” Auditor Galloway said in a statement. “The resulting audit details how thousands in city funds went missing and also highlights serious concerns with the city’s financial controls. I urge officials to implement our recommendations as soon as possible to better protect taxpayer dollars.”
The audit came because of an October 15, 2019 burglary at the city’s vault. The Taney County Sheriff’s Office asked the state auditor for assistance in reviewing accounting irregularities. When initial reviews showed merit for further investigation, the city Board of Aldermen requested an audit.
The audit found that former utility clerk Carla Combs did not deposit $2,000 in cash utility deposits. Combs could not explain to auditors why the money was not deposited.
An additional $6,400 in utility deposits were not deposited between 20 and 121 days after activation.
The 2019 theft is also detailed in the report. A master key was taken from the city clerk’s desk and usd to open the vault, where $1,403 was stolen.
The report recommends ensuring independent reviews of accounting processes, better receipt processes, and improved controls over keys.
Here is the full audit:forsythaudit