OKLAHOMA CITY — A backlog of more than 50 unfinished county audits, some of which have led to criminal investigations, has been whittled to 10 over the last two years, state Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones said Wednesday.
Jones said only 25 of Oklahoma's 77 counties were in compliance with a state law that requires an audit every two years when he took office two years ago. Now, 67 counties are in compliance, he said.
Jones said routine audits in Craig and Grant counties uncovered problems with the handling of inmate trust funds and triggered special audits by the agency's investigative units. The results will be forwarded to the local district attorney to determine if criminal charges are warranted.
A separate audit of the Carter County District Attorney's office found an employee had complete control over the office's information technology system and was able to write off account balances without secondary authorization. The audit also revealed the employee accepted cash payments for bogus check, restitution and supervision fees. That case currently is being reviewed by a separate prosecutor.
"In some cases, it's been a matter of poor bookkeeping. In others, it's a matter of people putting money into their own pockets," Jones said.
The auditor also announced a restructuring of the agency, including the creation of three deputy state auditor positions that will be filled internally. He said the agency still is operating with about 120 employees, the same number as when he took office.
Former state Auditor and Inspector Jeff McMahan and his wife, Lori, were convicted by a federal jury in 2008 on felony counts of conspiracy and accepting bribes and are serving time in federal prison.
Former Gov. Brad Henry appointed Steve Burrage to the post after McMahan resigned, and Jones defeated Burrage in the 2010 election.
Copyright The Associated Press