FARMINGTON — A six-month long investigation into the corrections office at the Davis County Sheriff’s Office found more than $126,000 in mishandled funds, left open to possible fraud.
Auditors discovered funds and purchased commissary items at the Davis County Jail that were supposed to go to inmates but never got to them.
In January, a new kiosk system was installed that allowed people to send money or items to inmates electronically. While the audit stated that the kiosk vendor deposited the funds in a timely manner, some $400,000 were left unprocessed.
According to Utah statute, those funds should have been handled and dispersed in a timely manner, and within a maximum of three days. The audit however stated that more than 960 transactions were not deposited properly.
Auditors said they found many of those funds in cash and checks stored in desk drawers in the business office at the jail. They also found a bag full of money. In interviews with jail employees, several stated that they had not received proper training for the processing of the funds.
The audit was presented to the Davis County Commission.
In a written response, attached to the audit, business manager Keith Major said staff started to fall behind in distributing payments after an assistant manager left for a new job. An accounting tech was given those responsibilities on top of her own, and fell behind.
“The problem was caused by the shortage of personnel. Everyone else at the Sheriff’s Office had their tasks and a few extra ones, so there were not the people or capacity to help,” Major said in the written response.
In some cases, the audit reported some inmates were given too much money. One reportedly received twice what he should have, and was as able to post bail as a result.
The Davis County Attorney’s Office was called in to investigate, and has since handed over the criminal investigation to the Farmington Police Department.
A spokesman for Davis County Sheriff Todd Richardson said he would not comment on the matter until the investigation was complete.