Auditor finds problems in Gasconade County

Gasconade County received an audit grade of "fair" based on the improper administration of a bank account in the Sheriff's office.

An audit of Gasconade County by State Auditor Nicole Galloway found improprieties in a bank account operated by former Sheriff Randy Ephorst and irregularities in keeping timesheets for deputies.

The audit says that as a result, some deputies may not have been paid properly for overtime worked at the Gasconade County Fair.

According to Galloway's audit, a bank account known as the Sheriff's Office Reserve Fund was administered outside the county treasury, and documentation related to expenditures from the account was not kept. Therefore, Galloway was unable to determine if expenditures from the account were in the public's best interest. Additionally, the report says several expenditures from the fund did not appear to be proper or essential to the operation of the office.

The audit also finds that the sheriff did not withhold taxes on the money earned by deputies providing security at the Gasconade County Fair, and timesheets were not prepared for more than $36,000 on salary paid for that work.

The audit gave the county an overall assessment of "fair," which is one step above "poor."

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