Will be updated

MIAMI – After waiting for more than a year, results of an audit of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office were released Tuesday, June 16, by the State Auditor & Inspector’s office and reveals a number of key issues.

At the request of the Ottawa County commissioners on April 15, 2019, Oklahoma State Auditor & Inspector Cindy Byrd conducted an investigative audit for the time period of July 2, 2016, through June 30, 2019.

Calls to Floyd had not been returned Tuesday night.

District 3 county commissioner Russell Earls, speaking for the board of commissioners, said that they are aware the report has been released and the county’s legal counsel is currently reviewing it.

At that time, the objectives of the audit were identified as:

Evaluate budgetary issues, determine whether credit cards were lawfully obtained and if credit card expenditures were for a public purpose, properly documented, and approved; determine whether cash bonds and inmate trust fund revenues and expenditures were properly receipted and deposited and whether expenditures from the inmate trust fund were allowable; review possible noncompliance with purchasing procedures over the expenditure of county funds; determine whether employees’ accrual of annual and compensatory leave was properly documented and appropriate; determine if all bank accounts were lawfully maintained; and review compliance over donations and fundraising activities. When the examination warranted, the scope was expanded.

Following are the audit findings:

The overall fiscal management of the sheriff’s department contributed to the need for supplemental appropriations over a three-year period of almost $435,000.

The report says Floyd improperly utilized the department’s credit card, charging $1,132.78 in unallowable travel expenses for him and his spouse on a conference trip to Reno, Nevada. Floyd also charged $237.01 in questionable expenditures for lodging, meals, and fuel following a trip to the annual Sheriff Association conference.

Overall, the department did not properly manage the credit card. The department paid interest on purchases made, issued more cards than allowed by statute, paid sales tax on exempt purchases, and did not maintain adequate documentation to support all transactions.

Obligations incurred in FY2019 totaling $34,554.69 were not timely encumbered and were paid with FY2020 funds in violation of law, according to the report.

The audit results also noted multiple violations of purchasing statutes, with almost 40% of purchase orders reviewed that were not timely encumbered. Seven purchase orders were not supported by receiving reports, one purchase order was not signed by the majority of the commissioners, and state contract records were not maintained by the county clerk or the sheriff to support that 13 lease-purchased vehicles had been properly bid through state contract pricing.

The auditors reported that they were unable to locate the deposit of $4,420.71 in cash bonds receipted by the sheriff’s department. Additionally, cash bond receipt forms were not consistently completed, and all cash bonds that were receipted were not deposited daily or deposited directly in the official depository as required by statute.

Inmate trust fund receipts were not deposited daily and checks were issued directly from the Inmate Trust Fund checking account to outside vendors and entities, a practice not allowed per statute.

Department payroll time records were not consistently maintained or properly completed for all employees. The department overwrote leave and comp time records. The overwriting of these files on a monthly basis resulted in monthly leave balances not being maintained which prohibited the ability to confirm if annual leave and comp time balances were recorded, tracked, and paid properly.

The department received donations, including several for a 2019 Christmas party, that were not presented to the commissioners for acceptance and approval as required by statute.

A fundraiser and the proceeds from the fundraiser were also not approved or accepted by the commissioners until over two months after the event was held, the report said.

It also says the Sheriff’s department failed to deposit grant checks received from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College in a timely manner, holding one of the checks for over two months. The grant checks totaled $10,000.

According to the county’s annual estimate of needs, the net supplemental adjustments made to the Sheriff’s budgets in FY2017, FY2018, and FY2019 totaled $434,504.80.

The auditors also released the following:

“The fiscal management of the sheriff’s department, which contributed to the need for supplemental appropriations, has resulted in a very contentious environment among Ottawa County officials. The amount of time, effort, and discourse spent on the issues of the sheriff’s budget and related financial activity, by all parties involved, has been detrimental to the management of the county as a whole.

“As noted in the report, the exceeding of budgeted appropriations, which resulted in the need for supplemental appropriations, appeared to be facilitated by Sheriff Floyd’s non-compliance with policies, procedures, and statutes. After numerous discussions in commissioners’ meetings regarding the proper processes for budget compliance and possible corrective action, Sheriff Floyd continued to exhibit a disregard for the budget process. As a result of this overspending, the county struggled to fund all other necessary operations.

“As noted above, the fiscal management and oversight of the budget is a joint effort of the elected county officials, the commissioners, and the County excise board. This joint effort is also necessary in the management of county finances, including, but not limited to, encumbrances, purchasing, payroll, and depositing and recording of revenue.

This report details multiple violations of law, policy, and procedures committed by Sheriff Floyd. However, it should also be noted that the commissioners, the county excise board, and other elected county officials share some responsibility in the ongoing process of non-compliance by not exercising their authority to reject or deny any or all improper or unlawful transactions.

“The commissioners act as the principal administrators of the county and the sheriff is accountable to them for the financial management of the office. Compliance with county internal policies and procedures, along with compliance of all statutes governing county finances, purchasing, and employment helps ensure that each county official complies with budgetary requirements and properly administers the funds appropriated to their office.”

In response to the auditors’ questions about the credit card charges, the auditors reported that Floyd indicated that he believed the commissioners would support him in his decision to take his spouse to Reno. He also stated that he believed he had paid for all of his wife’s meals and that the room upgrade was to get away from the smoke of the casino. Floyd said the rental of the vehicle was to be able to travel to various restaurants in order to keep meal costs down and to get to the airport in a timely manner. In an interview with Sheriff Floyd, he offered to reimburse the county for the expenses incurred from the trip, according to the auditors.

Floyd was elected on November 8, 2016, and took office on January 2, 2017.