Parks board hires firm to oversee accounting

Published 8:23 am Thursday, March 1, 2018

The accounting and financial duties for Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation will be farmed out, possibly as soon as mid-March.

In a special meeting Tuesday, the Parks board voted unanimously to hire Murran Petrey CPA of Winchester to handle the department’s finances through the end of 2018.

The decision was the latest stemming from a critical audit of the department, which uncovered a number of financial issues including the theft of $15,000 by a former employee.

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The Winchester Board of Commissioners voted for the Parks board, which is partially funded by the city and Clark County, to hire another company to handle the department’s finances.

According to the proposal, Murray Petrey would pay the department’s bills, prepare the payroll, issue the checks, reconcile all accounts, pay vendors and other duties for a monthly fee of $1,030.

“They will have the checkbook in their possession,” Parks board chairman Charles Eury said. “They will maintain QuickBooks in its entirety. We will not have access. They will come by weekly to pick up the bills. They will send checks over to us to be signed.”

Tuesday, Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner reiterated the city’s pledge to contribute toward the cost of the CPA firm.

The change to an outside financial firm was part of a mandate from the city commission to the parks board, following the audit. The commission also voted for the parks board to develop an action plan and timeline for addressing the issues listed in the audit and that a copy of the audit be turned over to local law enforcement officials and prosecutors for possible criminal charges.

The former employee has not been charged for the theft. Eury said the person repaid the $15,000 and was allowed to resign. The theft was uncovered by auditing software used by auditors, he said.

Other issues listed in the audit, which was reported in January, were a lack of segregation of duties, $61,000 in credit card debt and a nearly $159,000 deficit after additional revenue was not added to the department’s budget.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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