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Auditor: Rapides Parish town's mismanagement of records leads to breach of state law

4 years 2 months 1 week ago Monday, May 04 2020 May 4, 2020 May 04, 2020 5:28 AM May 04, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ
Photo: The Town Talk

CHENEYVILLE - According to the State Auditor's Office a small town in Rapides Parish is under fire for breaking a couple of state laws and overlooking vital paperwork that affects its police force.

The town of Cheneyville, nestled in the Alexandria-area, is home to nearly 600 people.

But a recent report from Louisiana's state auditor revealed that the small town is facing several issues that stem from a failure to keep appropriate records.

One major area of concern, according to the auditor's report, is that Cheneyville officials violated state law by failing to report unclaimed property to the State Treasurer.

According to the audit report, "The Town does not have written policies and procedures to report unclaimed property."

This means Cheneyville may owe the state an unknown amount of money based on the unclaimed property it failed to report.

The auditor's report went on to recommend that Cheneyville authorities clear this up by implementing "written policies and procedures to ensure that unclaimed property such as returned checks are properly maintained, reported, and remitted to the state in compliance with state law." 

In addition to this mismanagement, the audit reported that Cheneyville’s police chief and police officers did not participate in the Municipal Police Employees’ Retirement System and no documentation existed to indicate they'd opted out of the system.

The auditor also reports not receiving adequate documentation to determine if Cheneyville's fiscal year 2019 budget was formally adopted and made available for public inspection.

A fourth area of concern involved the mandatory quarterly review of traffic tickets; the state auditor discovered that the town clerk failed to audit traffic tickets every quarter, a process that's required by law.

The State Auditor's Office, which has been led by Daryl Purpera since 2010, oversees state and local government finances in addition to participating in other aspects of service related to Louisiana's economy.

According to its website, its mission is to "foster accountability and transparency in Louisiana government by providing the Legislature and others with audit services, fiscal advice, and other useful information.”

Click here for more details on the State Auditor's findings in reference to Cheneyville. 

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