The Richmond Register

March 18, 2014

Sheriff’s office audits shows no problems

By Sarah Hogsed
Register News Writer

RICHMOND — Three audits of the former Sheriff Jerry Combs’ office revealed no instances of noncompliance or problems over internal financial reporting controls, according to the state auditor’s office.

Audit of sheriff’s tax settlement

The audit of the former sheriff’s tax settlement, which is required annually be state law, covered the period from April 7, 2012, to April 15, 2013, according to a news release from Auditor Tom Edelen’s office.

During the audited period, the sheriff’s office collected taxes of $44.2 million and retained commissions of $1.15 million to cover operational costs.

The breakdown of gross chargeable taxes to the sheriff is:

• County taxes, $4,097,663

• Special taxing districts, $8,285,477

• School taxes, $27,495,540

• State taxes, $6,489,971

In Kentucky, the sheriff’s responsibilities include collecting property taxes, providing law enforcement and performing services for county fiscal court and courts of justice.

Combs died May 21 from a heart attack while in office. County Judge/Executive Kent Clark appointed Deputy Mike Coyle to fill the position, and Coyle is unopposed on the Democratic ticket for the November election.

Former Sheriff Nelson O’Donnell and Irving Whicker will face off in the May Republican primary in the sheriff’s race.

Audits of sheriff’s office

The state auditor’s office also issued two audits of the former sheriff’s office, one for the year ending Dec. 31, 2012, and another for the period from Jan. 1, 2013 to May 20, 2013.

In the audit for 2012 fees collected, the sheriff’s office had total receipts of $2,558,503, a $395,863 increase from the year before, according to the report.

During the five months audited in 2013, the office collected $912,968.

The fees come from a variety of sources, including state payments for services, such as prisoner transport and funds from the finance and administration cabinet. The sheriff’s office also receives fees from the circuit clerk, fiscal court and county clerk offices, commission on taxes, auto inspections, serving papers and concealed deadly weapons permits.

The reports can be accessed on the state auditor’s website at http://auditor.ky.gov.

Sarah Hogsed can be reached at shogsed@richmondregister.com or 624-6694.