November 1, 2014

Audit manager presents state report on Arenac public guardian’s office

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ARENAC COUNTY — An audit report from the state of Michigan to Arenac County states, among other findings, that there was a “lack of segregation of duties” and “unauthorized transactions” in the county’s public guardian’s office.

Sue Sanford, an audit manager for the state, presented the findings at the March 16 regular meeting of the Arenac County Board of Commissioners. The report, dated Dec. 9, 2009, was written by Cary Jay Vaughn, an audit manager with the state’s local audit and finance division, “to assist you in evaluating the system of internal controls and statutory compliance activities in the Arenac County Public Guardian’s Office for the period of Jan. 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009,” as stated in a letter to the Board of Commissioners.

Sanford’s report, which lasted about 2 1/2 hours, stated, among other findings, that there was a “lack of segregation of duties” as well as “unsupported and unauthorized balances or transactions” in the public guardian’s office. In addition, the report states that receipts were not written for all cash and checks received over the counter.

After the report, the board went into closed session to discuss “potential financial losses incurred by the county in reference to current litigation involving the former public guardian,” according to the motion read at the meeting.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Raymond Daniels said the closed session “was more of a report from the state auditor. She was reporting on the completed findings.”

He also said there were “findings in there that surprised me,” but said that he could not comment any further until the cases of former public guardians Robert Romps and Sherilyn Jones have been resolved.

Jones faces one count of criminal enterprise, two counts of embezzlement by a public official, one count of embezzlement from vulnerable adults and one count of conspiring to embezzle over $200 but less than $1,000. Romps is charged with one count embezzlement by a public official over $50.

Romps pleaded guilty at a Feb. 18 arraignment. His sentencing is scheduled for April 28 at 10 a.m. Jones’ pretrial is also scheduled for April 28 at 10 a.m.

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