- Associated Press - Monday, May 18, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - An audit released this week by newly appointed Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway says problems in Jackson County Circuit Court remain nearly three years after its former administrator resigned amid a federal investigation into her activities.

In the audit released Monday, Galloway gave the circuit court a “fair” rating - just one level above the lowest possible rating - and said issues such as noncompliant investments, shoddy bookkeeping and failure to reschedule court dates “need to be addressed and resolved.”

The court responded Monday evening that Galloway failed to note that the audit period ended nearly a year ago and that all of the problem areas it identified already have been fixed. It also said many of the issues in the report were brought to the auditor’s office by the court after suspicions of malfeasance arose against Court Administrator Teresa York in 2012.

York, of Blue Springs, was sentenced last July to two years in prison for embezzling nearly $80,000 and funneling more than $64,000 to her boyfriend for consulting work that was never done. She pleaded guilty in November 2013 to one federal count of mail fraud.

“The taxpayers were well served by the prosecution of the former court administrator, but issues continue to persist that citizens must be kept informed of as the court makes corrections,” Galloway said in a news release accompanying the audit.

Among the audit’s findings was that the court maintained more than $6 million in investments that had maturity dates greater than five years, in violation of state law.

Court spokeswoman Valerie Hartman responded that the investment issue - which was self-reported by the court - was fully resolved and that the auditor’s office was notified of that in February.

All other issues identified in the audit also have been resolved, she said.

A spokesman for Galloway’s office told The Associated Press the auditor’s statements were accurate as of the end of the audit period, which was June 30, 2014.

Galloway, who previously served as Boone County treasurer, was sworn in as auditor three weeks ago. She was appointed by fellow Democrat Gov. Jay Nixon to replace former Republican Auditor Tom Schweich, who fatally shot himself Feb. 26.

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