COVINGTON, Ky. (AP) — Financial controls are getting tighter in a northern Kentucky county after a former finance director was charged with theft.
Kenton County Treasurer Roy Cox told The Kentucky Enquirer (http://bit.ly/19DTSkt) that the municipality will operate under the philosophy of "trust but verify."
Cox said one key change is that the treasurer and assistant treasurer will each review the county's vendors monthly to look for discrepancies. In the past, only the treasurer would review the list.
The changes come after 63-year-old Bob Due was arrested last month and charged with theft, official misconduct, possession of a forged instrument and unlawful access to a computer. He is accused stealing up to $600,000, in part by creating fake vendors' names and putting that money into his personal account.
"Anytime something like this comes up, everybody looks closer at their internal controls, especially if they've become routine and you're used to doing things a certain way," said Cox, who's previously worked as an auditor. "Your procedures could become stale if you don't review them periodically."
He says he is also adding safety measures for monthly electronic payments made by the county. He said the bank will begin calling an authorized signer for verification before releasing the funds.
Kenton County Commissioner Beth Sewell recently thanked Cox for new the financial safeguards in place.
"I appreciate that you're doing this without somebody standing over you and asking you to do it," she said. "It gives me great confidence in your department."
Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus said a county-issued check is seen by multiple people "before it goes out the door" but that county government has been working to update its computer system and software.
"In our case, we already had some pretty good safety measures in place, so we're just trying to fine tune things and make them better," he said.
Information from: The Kentucky Enquirer, http://www.nky.com