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UINTAH BASIN GOVERNMENT GROUP TO GIVE POLICE FINANCIAL RECORDS

Administrators of the Uintah Basin Association of Governments will turn over records from the organization's 1993-94 fiscal year to the Roosevelt Police Department for investigation, after a recently completed audit showed that some of the association's employees may have been involved in the possible misuse of government funds from July 1993 to June 1994.

Police Chief Cecil Gurr said once the investigation is finished it will be up to Duchesne County Attorney Herb Gillespie to decide if criminal prosecution of specific individuals is warranted.Craig Bott, staff attorney for Utah Local Governments Trust, said irregularities discovered during the audit prompted the association of governments to turn the matter over to police.

"After a review of the audit there were a lot of possible discrepancies that caused concern at UBAG. UBAG decided the best course of action was to turn the information over to local law enforcement authorities to de-ter-mine if there were any crimes committed or laws broken," Bott said.

Receipts and checks discovered during the audit of the 1993-94 fiscal year expenditures showed that in some cases spending by employees of the tri-county agency went virtually unchecked.

Auditor Rodney Aycock reported to the agency's board of directors that evidence indicated some employees may have over-billed the association, submitted bogus requests for reimbursements and in some cases written checks that were devoid of an original or authorizing signature.

The associations's internal controls during the fiscal year in question were weak enough, said Aycock, "to have allowed some instances where funds were spent inappropriately."

Aycock has declined to "give an unqualified opinion on the association's 1993-94 year-end financial statements." The audit is now approximately a year past its due date. The 1993-94 fiscal year records were plagued with problems from the start due to missing paperwork and unreconciled financial statements.

The agency has since implemented tighter financial internal controls to prevent possible abuse from recurring.