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Callaway County Circuit Court audit reveals misplaced funds

A review of the Callaway County Circuit Court has revealed more than 11,000 dollars could be unaccounted for, with 60 questionable transactions beginning in Jan. 2011.

Callaway County circuit clerk Judy Gorner says the discovery of the questionable transactions occurred in a routine budget review by the Missouri Office of State Court Administrators (OSCA) in Jan. 2011.

“And when they came in September, they discovered what they thought was fraud and they notified my immediately,” Groner said. “And as soon as I was made aware of it, I contacted law enforcement and the presiding judge of our circuit.”

The presiding judge at the time was Judge Gary Oxenhandler, who then contacted the Missouri State Auditor’s office.

Deputy State Auditor Harry Otto says a former clerk involved in the transactions has been terminated but may be responsible for more than 11,000 dollars that missing.

“This person had the ability to receive payments, receive cash and make adjustments to balance dues to the court to show that the balance went to zero,” said Otto.

Otto says as a result of the “poor” grade in the audit, the State Auditor’s office made recommendations on new fiscal procedures for the Callaway County Circuit courts. He says the State Auditor’s office will likely follow up in February or March of 2014.

Randolph County Prosecutor Mike Fusselman, the special prosecutor in the case, says he has received information from the state about one individual.

“I have received information on one particular individual and so my investigation at this stage, or rather my evaluation of the case, will be with respect to the individual that was referred to me,” said Fusselman.

Fusselman says he’ll be reviewing the audit report more in depth over the next week.