October 3rd , 2013 10:00 am Leave a comment

Office sees a dispersal of fortune

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In less than six months, the Carter County Circuit Court Clerk’s office has significantly reduced an unidentified funds SONY DSCbalance that drew the attention of a state auditor this spring.

Since she was hired last year as the office’s bookkeeper, Lisa Light has been working along with other employees to identify undispersed funds the auditor brought to the county’s attention in April.

“I have generated spreadsheets where the undispersed funds have been identified,” Light said. “It’s totally identified.”
Combining General Sessions and Circuit Court, last year’s audit found about $380,000 in unidentified funds; Light said she expects an upcoming audit to find she has dispersed about half of that amount.

“The goal is of course more,” Light said. “But, that’s a big deal.”

During an April meeting, an official with the state Comptroller of the Treasury’s Department of Audit told the county’s audit committee that the money — $90,675 for Circuit Court and $289,116 for General Sessions — was collected over the years after being ordered paid by judges, but had not been properly logged, leaving the office unsure of which amounts belong to their corresponding cases.

The auditor said some of the money could be court costs or litigation taxes that rightfully belong to the county, but it also could be restitution that still might be owed to victims of crimes or litigants.

ICON, a new software system the office implemented Oct. 1, 2011, has helped the clerk’s office resolve those past discrepancies related to the undispersed money.

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