Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrell and Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz have both received a clean financial bill of health following recent audits of their 2015 books by Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon.
State law requires the auditor to conduct annual audits of county clerks and sheriffs.
“The auditor noted no instances of noncompliance. The auditor also noted no matters involving internal control over financial reporting and its operation that were considered to be material weaknesses,” Harmon’s office wrote in press releases for both offices Thursday.
Auditing standards require the auditor’s letter to communicate whether the financial statement presents fairly the receipts, disbursements and excess fees of the Whitley County Sheriff and the Whitley County Clerk.
The auditor noted that the financial statements for both offices were “fairly presented in conformity with the regulatory basis of accounting, which is an acceptable reporting methodology.”
The sheriff used the reporting methodology followed for all 120-sheriff audits in Kentucky, and the county clerk used the reporting methodology followed for all 120-clerk audits in Kentucky.
The sheriff’s responsibilities include collecting property taxes, providing law enforcement and performing services for the county fiscal court and courts of justice. The sheriff’s office is funded through statutory commissions and fees collected in conjunction with these duties.
In 2015, the sheriff’s office collected $20,890 in fees for auto inspections, $23,047 for serving papers and $12,740 in fees for carrying concealed deadly weapons permits.
Harrell’s office also received $336,650 in commission from collected taxes, $129,853 in state fees for services from the state finance and administration cabinet, and a $552,155 contribution from the fiscal court.
The county clerk’s responsibilities include collecting certain taxes, issuing licenses, maintaining county records and providing other services. The clerk’s office is funded through statutory fees collected in conjunction with these duties.
The clerk’s audit noted that receipts for Schwartz’s office in 2015 increased $644,945 over the prior year, and that the office generated $38,555 in excess fees more than the prior year.
The clerk collected about $1.1 million in licenses and transfers, $2.3 million in usage tax, $2.6 million in tangible personal property tax and $13,274 in notary fees. In addition, the clerk’s office collected $13,029 for issuing marriage licenses, $63,721 in deed transfer tax and $601,398 in delinquent taxes.