Where Will The Audit Be Presented?

It was originally assumed that Terry Sercer would complete the audit and then it would be presented to the commission who would make it public. For example, when Terry Sercer was asked to perform the audit, there is no mention of it going to any entity other than the commission.

Jingles Endicott made a motion to authorize Terry Sercer audit the payment plan, per his recommendations and to look into prior years.  Allen Warren seconded the motion and all voted in favor.  Commissioners said that as soon as they know any results, they will be made public. (September 2nd Minutes)

My notes from a week later on September 9th reflected that the commission still held the same view.

The auditor is still going through past taxes and once he is finished, the commission said they would make the results public.

The Fort Scott Tribune talked to Terry Sercer and seemed to indicate that he would be sharing the results of the audit with the commissioners.

Terry Sercer, of Diehl Banwart Bolten CPAs, completed the county’s 2010 audit and was given the responsibility of looking into the Bourbon County Treasurer’s Office following the allegations of questionable and potentially illegal practices by Treasurer Susan Quick. (source)

When I emailed Mr. Sercer to see if he was going to be presenting the audit at the commission meeting on September 30th, he did indicate that the paper was incorrect. However, it appeared that the part that was misunderstood was this:

Results of the audit are expected to be presented to the commission during their Oct. 3, meeting, however, the appointment has not yet been made, Sercer said. (source)

In fact, Mr. Sercer indicated that he expected some type of public announcement once the report was complete.

However, on October 3rd, the commission seemed unsure of how the report from the audit would be handled and where it would be sent.

Terry Sercer has yet to provide the commissioners with a timeline for when the audit and report will be completed. The commission wasn’t clear if the report would come to them or go to the county attorney or the attorney general. Jingles Endicott will contact Mr. Sercer and have an update on the timeline for Friday’s meeting. (Notes from October 3rd.)

At the meeting on October 7th, the commission said that the report would be going to the KBI and the Attorney General. Terry Sercer will be presenting it to them on October 17th. I asked if the change  to present to the KBI and Attorney General before being presented to the commission  was based on what the audit had found. The commissioners said “no” and that regardless of the findings it would not have been presented at commission meeting before being presented elsewhere. Commissioner Coleman pointed out that the commission isn’t in a position to determine if there are any criminal implications so it wouldn’t make sense to give it to them first.

The other thing that seems a bit odd is that on Monday (October the 3rd) the commissioners didn’t know when the report would be complete and Jingles Endicott said that he would check with Terry Sercer to find out the status.  However, on October the 7th, they all seemed to be familiar with the fact that the report would not be presented at a commission meeting. Update: It appears that commissioner Endicott had answered the same question before I came into the meeting, so the other commissioners may have just been explaining what he had originally said. Also there may have been more details given when the question was originally asked.

This raises some questions.

  • If the plan was to give it to the KBI and Attorney General all along, why was everyone confused about it until October 7th?
  • If the commission knew it was not going to be presented at a commission meeting, why wasn’t that mentioned to the numerous people who showed up on Monday’s and Friday’s to ask about it?
  • If audit was ordered by the commission to be presented to them, who changed these instructions to have it presented to the KBI and Attorney General?

It is unclear if this was an actual change of plans or if it was just a misunderstanding as to how these sort of matters proceed.

I called the KBI and the person I spoke with couldn’t find a record of any meeting planned for October 17th regarding an audit.  The Attorney General’s office said that if there was some type of investigation, they could not comment on it one way or another.  I asked if that meant if there was presentation of the audit report on the 17th, it would be closed to the public and was told, “Under that hypothetical situation, that would be correct.”

By the way, if you see anything that I misunderstood or any errors, please leave a note in the comments.


4 thoughts on “Where Will The Audit Be Presented?”

  1. Mark: I see nothing incorrect with what you have stated. I cannot say what happened but I think we could all guess. Do you remember also that the County Attorney said that when KBI/AG came in that it would not be announced? A lot of twists and turns but the essence I see is that it turns out to be a much bigger deal than what was expected especially since the citizens are stepping up on this in volume!

  2. I’m very disappointed with the lack of transparency in our county commissioners. Considering they said they had no knowledge of the situation in the treasurers office, one would think they would make sure they are operating aboveboard. But I’m still not understanding the executive session for client/attorney privilege to discuss what was termed as tax sale.

    1. Honestly it is my impression that the county commissioners are all trying to be as transparent as possible. Keep in mind that going into executive session wasn’t their idea–the attorney who is in charge of the tax sale suggested it, so they were merely following his advice.

      After looking at it in more detail, I believe the executive session was legal. However, depending on what was discussed, it might have made more sense to keep it open. However, the commissioners probably wouldn’t have known what was being discussed until the first executive session was started.

  3. What I don’t understand is why weeks after this blew up, no one had yet found any answers to share. I mean not even what is going to happen with the delinquent taxpayers that have taxes 2007 and before. Someone, and not myself because I tried, should have been able to get some answers from the Attorney General’s Office to share. Answers to the basic questions that the citizens are asking regarding the upcoming tax sale. I am guessing they told the County Treasurer that they were having the AG/KBI come in on October 17. Surprise! I don’t think the County Commissioners really know which way to turn because the guidance is not there for them either.

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