MURRAY — The last time Calloway County Sheriff Sam Steger was discussing the findings of a state audit, he was reviewing a very positive report.
On that particular occasion, the office of Kentucky State Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon had not made a single comment when it came to the 2017 tax settlement for Steger’s office. On Monday, though, the ’17 financial statement audit had three, some of which are quite familiar to the veteran law enforcement official.
“One I’m pretty sure is going to be lacking segregation of duties,” Steger said in addressing the report Monday afternoon. He was correct, as one of the findings was indeed “lacks adequate segregation of duties,” which Steger said, in layman’s terms, is saying that not enough people in the office are examining financial matters.
“I have that one nearly every time and it’s because we lack the staff,” he said, comparing his situation to that of another agency whose audit report was revealed Monday, the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department, which serves a considerably larger population. He said it should not have been surprising that Daviess’ report showed no such issues. “I don’t have as many people looking over everything like those larger departments. We do the best we can.”
The second finding showed that Steger overspent his approved budget by $57,115, while a third finding showed that the maximum salary limit was overspent by $217,172. The report stated that the second finding noted that a budget amendment was obtained but it did not adequately cover all expenses. The report on the third finding said that the annual order setting the maximum amount for deputies and assistants included the employer Social Security and retirement match by mistake.
Steger said the problems with Finding 3 have been corrected. He also said that when it comes to Finding 2, undetermined receipts and disbursements that spill over from one year to the early part of another can make tracking a budget difficult.
“Here’s the bottom line. There is no money missing,” he said. “If we go over our budget, we work those problems out and our fiscal court is great about helping us out in situations like this.
“Nobody likes to be written up. I certainly don’t. However, I think it is good that (Harmon’s office) does this because it can find where money is being misappropriated and that’s when things get really bad.”