The Richmond Register

November 30, 2012

State auditor info for Madison district remains incorrect

By Ronica Shannon
Senior News Writer

RICHMOND — Kentucky State Auditor Adam Edelen said Wednesday that errors in his highly publicized report on special districts had been corrected.

But, Edelen failed to correct the information of at least one Madison County district, according to Jimmy Cornelison, director of Madison County EMS.

Earlier this week, Edelen posted an apology on the office’s website stating that there were “glitches and errors” in the 100-page report titled “Ghost Government: A Report on Special Districts in Kentucky.”

Those problems “were all taken care of in the first 48 hours,” Edelen said Wednesday.

However, as of Friday afternoon, the incorrect information as to the compliance of the Madison County Ambulance taxing district had not been corrected, Cornelison said.

The EMS director, who also is Madison County Coroner, said he did not take Edelen’s “glitches” lightly.

“I just don’t understand how he can say that it’s a glitch and say that it’s been corrected, but there’s nothing corrected as far as Madison County,” Cornelison said.

When the Richmond Register initially reported about the “Ghost Government” piece, Cornelison had not seen the newspaper that day.

“When I walked into church Sunday, I hadn’t read the newspaper,” he said. Cornelison learned about the newspaper article when he was confronted by church members who were asking him questions.

“I thought they were talking about taxing districts in general and that maybe someone had said something about them at a (government) meeting,” he said. “When I got home and got the paper, I blew my tom because it was wrong.”

Before the Richmond Register published another story reporting on Edelen’s apology, Cornelison hand delivered documents to the newspaper, which was the material that Edelen’s office claimed did not exist.

“Most people are very supportive about the (follow-up) story (in the Register),” the EMS director said. “We have complied, and we have proof of it. I was hoping that all of a sudden it would be cleared up and we could move on, but it’s not been corrected.”

Cornelison said he has the full support of the Madison County Ambulance Board, and the board will directly approach the auditor’s office soon if this information is not corrected.

“You know good and well that if we weren’t in compliance, they’d be all over us,” he said.

Cornelsion said he became aware in July of what the auditor was reporting on the website in regards to the Madison County Ambulance Taxing District.

He immediately called the auditor’s office to make his staff aware that the information on the website was inaccurate. Representatives of Edelen’s office told Cornelison “not to worry about it,” the EMS director said.

The auditor’s website claims that the Madison County Ambulance Board did meet the “survey” requirement, however, the five-page survey was a part of the material delivered to the Richmond Register, along with the district’s audited financial statements for the fiscal years ending June 30, 2011 and June 30, 2010. The survey required an upload of the district’s most recent audit, current contact information and a list of current board members, along with questions about 2001 revenues, expenditures, reserve funds, etc.

Visit http://apps.auditor.ky.gov/public/theregistry/cai.html for more information about Edelen’s report.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at rshannon@richmondregister.com or 624-6608.