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Auditors want more time, money in Ogle County

County chairman says auditors described fund as 'disorganized'

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT

OREGON – After more than 6 weeks, auditors reviewing the Ogle County administrative tow fund want more time and information.

A preliminary report of findings has been completed, according to County Board Chairman Kim Gouker, but the auditors want to verify some information.

During its regular meeting today, the board will vote on whether to approve additional funds for the review, which is being conducted by Sikich, an auditing and consulting company based in Naperville.

“They need more info to clarify what they already have,” Gouker said on Monday. “What they have is somewhat disorganized – is the best way to say it.”

Disorganized is the word the auditors used, Gouker said, and they have asked for up to $7,500 – equal to the initial cost – to continue the audit. If auditors get the information they need after only $1,500 worth of continued time, the audit will stop, Gouker said.

The additional time is expected to be used to verify information with other sources and have discussions with Sheriff Michael Harn and county deputies to clarify some things, Gouker said.

The tow fund was established for the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department in 2011 to supplement diminishing budgets and help with vehicle repairs and purchases. When that account was set up, the sheriff was given discretion to spend the funds, collected from a $350 tow fee, for any purpose.

In the tow fund’s first 3 years, purchases included a tent for the county fair, flowers for Secretary’s Day, and a $4,000 management fee for the department’s Facebook page, in addition to vehicle purchases and repairs.

In February, the board restricted what the tow fund could be used for and what funds could be deposited into it. A month later, the tow fund’s control was transferred to the Ogle County Treasurer’s Office, and Gouker called for a forensic audit of the fund after having opposed one several months earlier.

The auditors have no timeline to complete their work, and Gouker said he hasn’t asked for one because he wants to make sure it’s thorough.

He also said he had not seen the preliminary report and had had conversations with the auditors only by phone. He said he wanted to wait until it was finished so he didn’t jump to conclusions before knowing all the information.

“I think its going well,” he said. “... These things are tedious, at best, because at their nature they look at data and then they try and follow where the data goes. They’re just tedious.”

Meeting today

The Ogle County Board will meet at 5:30 p.m. today at the Ogle County Courthouse, 105 S. Fifth St. in Oregon.

Go to www.oglecounty.org or call 815-732-3201 for an agenda or more information.

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