- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 14, 2017

NOWATA, Okla. (AP) - Nowata’s county clerk said she can’t determine how much debt the sheriff’s office is in because it didn’t follow proper accounting procedures.

County Clerk Chris Freeman said to commissioners Monday that she couldn’t “coherently” determine the amount because the sheriff’s office spent money without first creating purchasing orders.

“I don’t know how to assess that for you,” Freeman said, noting that she’s asked for a “snapshot” from sheriff’s office officials.

On Monday, commissioners accepted Sheriff Rick Miller’s resignation and signed off on several claims for payment from the sheriff’s office. Jeff Grissom, who has been deputy and the county’s emergency manager, was also appointed undersheriff in a unanimous vote.

Commissioner Curtis Barnes said commissioners were forced to sign off on the claims because the county is unable to carry over a monthly debt.

Commissioners will be taking an extra step to review the sheriff’s office’s financial statements daily to make sure it is spending within its budget, through correct procedures and out of appropriate accounts, Barnes told the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/2mILdMB ).

Board Chairman Bud Frost said he thinks it’s a matter of poor accounting by the sheriff’s office and he hopes the county will have a better grasp of the situation in about a week to determine the extent of the financial damage.

“Hopefully Jeff (Grissom) will take better care of that than the last one did as far as keeping finances,” Frost said.


Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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