GREAT BEND, Kansas – The latest problem that’s surfaced from the Barton County Treasurer’s Office, for once, doesn’t have to do with the overall budget mess, but how employees deal with cash.
“We did discover when the auditors were here last Thursday that the treasurer’s had a policy maybe from before he got there but at least from the time that he’s been there that if an employee is short in their cash drawer, the employee has to reimburse that out of their pocket,” said County Administrator Richard Boeckman.
That standing policy under Kevin Wondra was discovered when auditors found an eighteen dollar discrepancy.
“When the auditors discovered this they were here in my office very quickly saying is that legal, and it took me very little time at all to do some legal research and determine that it was not legal,” said Boeckman.
The policy was stopped in the last few days, but Wondra told county officials employees paying out of their own pocket for cash transactions that came up short, had been going on since before he was elected.
“That if that situation can’t even keep a petty cash drawer reconciled it is pretty indicative of the problem of the whole,” said County Commissioner Kenneth Lebbin.
County Commissioners say that one of their biggest frustrations is having a new problem pop up with the treasurer’s office every couple of weeks.
“It’s just sort of like a roller-coaster ride, about the time you’ve reached the top you’re headed down again, and it’s just frustrating,” said Lebbin.
In fact, the county still won’t be able to find out how much money it has in its budget until the beginning of August.
Barton County is paying at least twenty-thousand dollars to an outside accounting firm to make sure the books are balanced, and officials say this latest setback will cost them even more.