Gasconade County received a “fair” rating in an audit prepared by the Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway.

The audit questioned the appropriateness of several purchases made using an account maintained by the former sheriff outside of the county treasury.

“Taxpayers expect purchases by the sheriff’s office to have a clear benefit to public safety in their community, but our audit found this was not always the case,” Galloway said. “I appreciate the responses of Gasconade County officials, who appear committed to making improvements to ensure proper use of taxpayer dollars.”

The report found the former sheriff maintained the Sheriff’s Office Reserve Fund account outside of the county treasury and did not properly document spending from the fund. Questionable purchases included payments to local restaurants, grocery stores and a pawnshop, as well as charity donations and memberships in local organizations. The former sheriff also indicated money was used to provide bonuses, which would be in violation of the Missouri Constitution.

Additional recommendations to the sheriff’s office included requiring employees to prepare accurate timesheets and ensuring compensation is paid through the county’s normal payroll process. The new sheriff, who took office in 2017, reported he had implemented the recommendations.

The report identified improvements needed in the accounting procedures in the offices of the ex-officio recorder of deeds and the public administrator.

The complete audit can be found at app.auditor.mo.gov/Repository/Press/2019009147673.pdf.

Gasconade County is located west of Franklin County.