Audit reveals Lakewood clerk pocketed traffic ticket money

Thursday, December 3, 2009 at 11:45pm
Staff reports

A former Lakewood city court clerk misappropriated at least $11,423 in traffic citation collections, according to findings of an investigation conducted by the state Comptroller’s Division of Municipal Audit.

The former court clerk admitted to state auditors that she had “borrowed” money from her cash drawer throughout her employment with the city and had not paid back the full amount.

According to the audit which focused on the period Feb. 1, 2006 through Jan. 31, 2009, she used several methods to conceal this activity from management, including altering city receipts to indicate that she had collected less than she really had and failing to issue at least 22 receipts representing collections of $3,953 for payments made using checks and money orders.

Auditors also discovered that she issued receipts from a receipt book that was unknown to both her co-workers and city officials. A total of 123 receipts from the then-unknown book are missing and not recorded on the city court docket. Auditors estimate that the missing receipts could represent as much as $12,900 worth of additional undeposited collections.

“For two and a half years, the former court clerk collected payments for traffic citations while also being responsible for recording all of the payments received,” said Dennis Dycus, director of the Division of Municipal Audit. “She was given complete control of thousands of collection transactions without adequate compensation oversight and separation of duties. To decrease the risk of undetected errors and irregularities, no employee should have control over a complete transaction.”

The case was turned over to the local district attorney general for prosecution.

5 Comments on this post:

By: frank brown on 12/4/09 at 7:43

What is it about this little lower middle class communtiy that attracts such rogues for public office?

By: BigPapa on 12/4/09 at 7:47

Lakewood, Berry Hill, etc.. should all be absorbed into Metro and done away with. Lakewood is blight on the map any way.

By: nashtnman on 12/4/09 at 2:03

I wonder if my ticket money went in her pocket?

By: onehorsegirl on 12/4/09 at 2:47

Only in Lakewood can you receive a citation for driving 2 miles over the speed limit...did she share with anyone or act a lone??? Now, maybe we can hit the red light at Shute's Lane and make it to the big green bridge without a Lakewood 'tail'.

By: total_kos on 12/4/09 at 6:20

Lakewood. What a joke. All those Lakewood Police for one square mile of city. I don't think of safety when I see the Lakewood Police . . . I think of a city on the take for people going two miles over the speed limit.