Audit finds thousands missing from Franklin Co. probation office deposits

FRANKLIN CO., Tenn. (WVLT) -- Auditors found a shortage of funds in the Franklin Co. Probation Office, the Comptroller's Office announced on Tuesday.

A joint investigation conducted by the Comptroller's Division of County Audit and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation found receipts exceeding bank deposits by $7,660 between Nov. 25, 2009 and Aug. 30, 2010.

Probationers are sometimes required to make payments as part of their judicial sentences, the Comptroller's Office explained; adding that the Franklin County Probation Office is responsible for collecting those payments within the county.

One person has already been indicted as a result of the investigation. Gena R. Hall was a Franklin County probation officer. The Comproller's Office said she resigned on the same say she was indicted.

“I commend investigators from our department and also from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for their work on this case,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “This is another example of how misuse of public funds could have been avoided through better bookkeeping practices. I am pleased that Franklin County officials have made many of the changes our auditors recommended to correct these problems.”

Auditors also made several suggestions to help the Franklin Co. probation office manage its funds. It recommended the county start using properly-numbered receipts, requiring money to be deposited within three days, properly securing money before it is deposited, comparing receipts to deposits and separating duties so one employee would not be responsible for collecting, accounting for and depositing money.


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