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County hires interim treasurer, to vote on settling former treasurer’s accounts

Clark County has its third treasurer of the year, but the Fiscal Court still has to vote on closing the accounts of its last full-time treasurer.

On Monday, the court voted to name Cheryl Wills as the acting treasurer. Clark County Judge-Executive Chris Pace said she has been working as the county’s finance officer for the last three months, and previously served as an acting treasurer for the county and worked in the finance area of the county clerk’s office as well.

The Fiscal Court, though, still has not officially closed the books of former treasurer Jerry Madden, who was fired by the fiscal court in March on a 5-2 vote for reportedly making transfers without court approval.

The court, though, did not vote on closing Madden’s books Monday, and was scheduled to do so during Thursday’s regular meeting.

Magistrate Travis Thompson, who voted against firing Madden, questioned why the court was asked to approve the accounts of Madden and his successor, interim treasurer Shea Champ, which were dated several days before their last day in office. Champ resigned earlier this month after her husband took a job in Northern Kentucky.

Champ’s settlement was approved, while Madden’s was postponed.

Thompson said both proposed settlements included errors, which he said should have been corrected, including deposits apparently not made to the proper line items, so balances varied.

“I’m not insinuating there’s any money missing,” Thompson said. “I’m still waiting on answers to the other questions.”

Pace said state statute directs the Fiscal Court to call a special meeting to settle those accounts “in a manner it deems proper.”

Pace said it did not seem good to call Madden back to settle his accounts given the circumstances.

“He was released with cause,” Pace said. “I don’t believe the court would furnish anyone with access to our database without the credentials. It’s not required by statute.”

Pace said every check written to the county was deposited to the general fund, but may not have gotten to the proper line item within the budget.

“A lot of those will be a choice between people with two different styles,” Pace said. “Sometimes there will be human error. No one’s perfect.”

Pace also said he was advised by County Attorney William Elkins that the court already approved monthly and quarterly reports from both Madden and Champ and that could be an approval of their accounts.

Any errors, he said, would be caught by auditors when they review the county’s books.

“You can’t go back in time and fix things,” Pace said. “Retroactive transfers are not recognized under the law. I will be happy, if any inaccuracies are found … to make a note in the files and bring it to the auditors’ attention.”

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0051.

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