Auditors found that the court lacked important oversight and accounting safeguards to increase protection of taxpayer resources. The audit identified incomplete bond records and insufficient review of the actions of the court’s clerk, the one employee responsible for handling financial transactions. Auditors also found that the court did not monitor accrued costs for money owed to the court for fines and court costs.
“Checks and balances are particularly critical in a setting with a small number of employees who handle the majority of court functions,” Auditor Galloway said. “We made recommendations to court officials to help them serve citizens more efficiently, and I am pleased that they have already begun taking steps to improve operations.”
Auditors determined that the prosecuting attorney did not sign every traffic ticket processed by the court and did not always document the dismissal of tickets. Additionally, the court failed to properly track revenues received for minor traffic violations and associated court costs, and Rich Hill officials did not perform calculations to ensure the city complied with related state laws limiting retention of those revenues.
An audit of Rich Hill city operations is ongoing.
The Rich Hill municipal court, located in Bates County, is a division of the 27th Judicial Circuit. The court received an overall performance rating of “good,” and the full report can be found online at the link below.