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County's missing money an 'oversight'

September 02, 2006|by TAMELA BAKER

CHARLES TOWN, W.VA. - It once was lost, but now it's found.

Earlier this summer, mistakes blamed on outdated payroll records resulted in a discrepancy of $6,406 in Jefferson County's finance department accounts.

On Friday, Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober, who also serves as the county's treasurer, said he had been advised that most of the money had been found.

"It was an oversight by the tax office," Boober said. "There were five deposits not accounted for."

Boober said he was informed of the oversight by his chief tax deputy.

The discrepancy surfaced when the tax office attempted to close out the books for fiscal year 2006, which ended June 30, Boober said. He heads the office.

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At the time, The Herald-Mail reported that Boober and county clerk Jennifer Maghan, who runs the county's finance office, exchanged letters assigning each other responsibility for reconciling the discrepancy.

Boober said then that the problem started when the finance department used payroll records from January rather than May to make May's payroll. Some employees were overpaid, some were underpaid and some former employees got checks, he said.

Boober said Friday that he asked the Jefferson County Commission in July to provide money from its general fund to offset the discrepancy, and to perform an audit to find out where the money went.

That audit should be completed soon, Boober said. Meanwhile, "the happy thing is we've recounted the majority of the money in question," he said. "I want to say I'm pleased that the majority of the discrepancy has been found."

But Boober wasn't quite ready to let the finance office off the hook.

"We're still unable to balance the books because of problems we have been having with the finance office" - including the problems with the payroll records, he said.

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