LPPJ Exit Audit Finds Problems

An examination of the Lincoln Parish Police Jury’s books has found several issues that will have to be addressed before the regular annual audit can begin, Acting Treasurer Laura Hartt told the group at last night’s meeting.

The review – often termed an “exit audit” – is required anytime key people leave governmental agencies.

Hartt said all payroll, vendor, and withholding payments had been timely made, but that several internal accounts were not up-to-date.

Among the issues:

  • Bank statements had not been reconciled
  • Cash and check receipt deposits were not timely made
  • Purchases were made that circumvented procedures
  • Sales tax payments on receipts from the parish park and exhibition center had not been made to other agencies
  • Required federal reporting related to the detention center expansion project had not been completed, resulting in late payments to contractors.

Said Hartt, “These deficiencies will likely lead to audit findings for the year ended December 31, 2020. Because of these deficiencies, the records cannot be audited on time. I don’t anticipate turning having the records ready to turn over to Billy (Hulsey) until June 1st.”

Hulsey has performed the annual audit for many years, and was last night engaged to do the 2020 audit.

Hart said that a formal exit audit report will be made within the next few weeks. She also asked the jury to approve an application to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor for an extension to the deadline normally required for annual audits.

The jury also approved changing the parish’s ordinance regarding bottle clubs. The action made those establishments illegal.

See here the documents.

Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division head Landon Hunt said that bottle clubs had become a problem, and more so since the Covid-19 shutdowns. The cities of Ruston and Grambling had already outlawed those businesses, it was noted.

Hunt said that about six weeks ago, an event on Haddox Road resulted in over 800 patrons at the event venue. Intoxicated patrons spilled out into the parking lots of several adjacent business, leaving broken bottles and litter in their wake.

Said Hunt, “We called the city (police) out – we had probably six deputies that night, and probably 6 or 7 city police officers to come help to regain control of it.”

31 Responses to “LPPJ Exit Audit Finds Problems”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Popcorn ready

  2. Heisenberg Says:

    Put your popcorn away Walt. Your boy Hyde screwed the LPPJ and LPPJ made the obvious correct move by bringing in the smartest person in the room, ms Hartt, to clean up the mess. $85 an hour is a steal since they let a $75000/year salary drain go. She should be charging $150/hour and we bet durrett would agree

    • Anonymous Says:

      The smartest person in the room is in a room in the Sheriff’s office and refuses to go back to that chaos.

    • Anonymous Says:

      $75K is what they pay that position?! No wonder they can’t find someone to stay. Experienced accountants earn a lot more. “You get what you pay for.” Remember when they said that?

      The only people you’re going to get at that salary are the “younguns”.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Many/ most of the jurors are behind in understanding what quality professionals earn and so that seems to heold the jury back fro attracting more qualified and desirable applicants for top positions.
        That, and reporting to twelve from varied backrounds.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    “Purchases were made that circumvented procedures.”

    Saw that coming. Hyde left a mess, but THAT wasn’t Hyde. He just signed the checks on the purchases he was told to sign.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Hyde was too young and too inexperienced . No treasurer should ever circumvent policy. Red flags and big ego.

      • Anonymous Says:

        No administrator should either.

        • Anonymous Says:

          But it happened

          • Anonymous Says:

            And yet he’s still there and other guy was canned. So.

            • Anonymous Says:

              Which tells you a lot.

              • Anonymous Says:

                Hyde messed up. He had a good thing but wanted more $ and they didn’t think he was worth it.

              • Anonymous Says:

                It’s not the “younguns” leaving. It’s the smart ones. They get there. They begin to understand the environment and realize it’s not what they signed up for. Accounting should be a straightforward kinda business. Until you have to deal with police jurors and their administration. And a purchasing assistant who thinks she owns the courthouse.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Then he should not have signed. Mr. Hyde reported to the Jury, not to the administration.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I wouldn’t blame Hyde too early. Is someone trying to protect someone else? My understanding is Hyde tried for months to implement new internal controls and policies but had no support from Jury, Administrator, or staff. The former Treasurers also must not have had any support especially the way Holly left too. In fact he had no staff. As far as the bank statements being reconciled, Hartt should be smarter than what it appears she is in the paper. I recommend readers to go to the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Best Practices website for Governmental Units. Below is the best practices for Bank Reconcilements. I strongly suggest everyone read this and the other best practices on the website, especially those at the Leader and LPNOL. Maybe Hartt, Postel, and the jury needs to read this as well:

    “Louisiana Legislative Auditor
    BEST PRACTICES – BANK RECONCILIATIONS
    The Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) is providing the following best practices to help local government entities create their own written policies and procedures. Because this document may not include all legal provisions applicable to different types of local government entities, entities should consult with legal counsel when developing written policies and procedures. Also, many of the legal provisions referenced in this document may not apply to quasi-public organizations, such as non-profits. Quasi-public organizations should refer to the LLA’s legal FAQs for additional guidance.
    Sources:
    Louisiana Legislative Auditor FAQs – https://www.lla.la.gov/legal-faqs/ Bank Statement Review – La. R.S. 10:4-406(d)(2)
    Unclaimed Property – La. R.S. 9:151 et seq.
    Security as Collateral – La. R.S. 39:1221 and R.S. 39:1225
    Written policies and procedures over bank reconciliations should include controls over preparation and review.
    Preparation:
    1. The entity should appoint a bank reconciliation “preparer” who is not involved in processing cash receipts or disbursements, including recording these transactions in the accounting records.
    2. The preparer should receive the bank statements unopened directly from the bank and prepare a reconciliation between the bank balances and the accounting records within 30 days. State law allows for 30 days to examine bank statements and canceled checks for unauthorized signatures or alterations. After 30 days, the entity is precluded from asserting a claim against the bank for unauthorized signatures or alterations.
    3. As part of the reconciliation, the preparer should consider whether (1) all receipts and disbursements are recorded by the entity; (2) checks are clearing the bank in a reasonable time; (3) reconciling items are appropriate and are being recorded; and (4) the reconciled cash balance agrees to the general ledger balance. Any differences between the bank balances and accounting records (e.g., deposits not clearing the bank, unusual disbursements or transfers) should be immediately researched and resolved. Any adjustments to the
    1|Page
    Last Updated: October 2018
    Louisiana Legislative Auditor
    BEST PRACTICES – BANK RECONCILIATIONS
    accounting records should be recorded by someone other than the employee performing the bank reconciliation.
    4. The preparer should also research reconciling items that are outstanding for more than six months to determine if the checks need to be voided and reissued or whether the funds need to be submitted to the State Treasurer in compliance with unclaimed property laws.
    5. Once the reconciliation is prepared, the preparer should sign/initial and date (or electronically log completion).
    Review:
    1. The completed bank reconciliation, bank statement, and supporting documentation should be immediately reviewed by a designated official who is knowledgeable about the entity’s operations but does not handle cash, post ledgers, or prepare checks.
    2. Once the reconciliation is reviewed, the reviewer should sign/initial and date (or electronically log completion).
    Other:
    1. For small entities that have limited personnel, it may not be possible to have an employee with no receipts/disbursements functions reconcile the bank statements. In those cases, we suggest that bank statements be received unopened by either the chief executive officer or a designated board member, for his/her review.
    2. When preparing bank reconciliations, the entity should periodically review the collateralization of its demand deposits to verify that bank balances are fully secured and that the types of securities pledged by the financial institution are appropriate. The frequency of such review depends on whether the entity routinely has deposits that exceed FDIC insurance.
    Last Updated: October 2018
    2|Page”

    How could Hyde audit a bank statement. He who signs the check cannot reconcile a bank statement, this is just good internal control. The list goes on and on. The problem is the jury does not want an accountant as a Treasurer, they want a bookkeeper who is a yes person. They do not want internal controls or best practices put in place. Without written policies and good effective internal controls the doors are left open for much mismanagement, stealing, etc. This must be what the staff and jury want.

    As far as sales taxes being filed, quarterly filing is one option allowed. Hyde left the first of January. The 4th quarter 2020 sales tax report was due the 20th of January. That would be on Postel and Hartt, not Hyde, Hyde was gone. What about the bank statements since Hyde left, are they reconciled? What has Hartt and Postel done the last four and 1/2 months? Doesn’t look like they tried to reconcile bank statements does it? I will let other’s describe the situation at the courthouse. How many Treasurers have come and gone in a short period of time? Way too many and someone needs to look at someone other than those treasurers.

    • Anonymous Says:

      This jury is a farce. This administrator is a clown. And they will forever be placing blame on whatever scapegoats they can find. Hyde is not at fault here people. But they’re going to throw his name out there to muddy the waters. There’s a pattern. See it. How many treasurers have left under Courtney Hall? Postel inherited a shit load of problems. Let’s see if he can handle them ethically. Without throwing people under the bus. Klepzip needs to beware.

      “They muddy the waters. To make them seem deep.”

      Your police jury is attempting to muddy the waters so they are not accountable for what’s going on in their own offices.

      • Anonymous Says:

        You have a right to 1) know what’s going on and 2) replace the public servants who are not serving you, the public.

        But you have to be involved.

        And vocal.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Yes. There’s a protection racket here. They’re just hoping Postel’s fake reputation can shield them from it.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Hartt left that job once before. Did she reconcile statements? Interesting that she now returns.

    • Anonymous Says:

      The treasure does notvrequire “staff” for what to most pros would be a part-time job.
      Because of the small leadership staff of the Jury, the treasurer is typically an inportant backup in case of the administrator’s absence due to vacation, illness, or other reason. Of course, experience in office makes this work better.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Where is the Audit Committee? Guess you would have to go outside the Jury to get a committee who would know what to do.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Quick question, where has the PJ been the last year? If someone responsible was to review the bank reconcilements (paragraph 5.1 above) why weren’t questions being ask? Oh, someone reviewing the reconcilement must be knowledgeable of the operations but does not handle the cash, post the ledgers, or prepare checks. How quickly I forgot, there is no one there who meet the requirements. Hopefully the auditor will report who is ultimately responsible for all of this under the current set up, that being Postel and the Jury.
    How long was Postel on the job? Why wasn’t he asking questions?
    Auditor’s should be changed every two or three years, another best management practice. What you bet an Audit Committee appears now?

    • Anonymous Says:

      They’ve been attempting to recover from the complete lack of integrity they have displayed in the last year.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Landon and Logan. See it.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Did those purchases that circumvented procedures have anything to do with the new autos that have been showing up in the parking lot? Been noticing that lately…why do they need so many news cars?

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