The Youth Services Bureau of Monroe County owes the federal government more than $43,000 according to information presented at the Monroe County Council meeting earlier this week.
The bureau takes in about $120,000 from two federal grants each year. For the past three years the county has had about $15,000 leftover from those grants. But instead of paying the money back right then, as required by grant guidelines, the bureau kept the money and spent it.
Sarah Borden, office manager at the Youth Services Bureau said the problem is a bookkeeping error but also admitted altering the numbers on the books had become standard procedure when she started managing one of the grants in 2008.
“The individual who was training me to do this said that since our cash on hand is always zero we should put in whatever numbers it took to make that equal zero,” Borden said
But County Commissioner Mark Stoops said inaccurate accounting took place in more than one office. He questioned whether records were kept correctly in the commissioner’s office, acknowledging he knows some mistakes were made by the past auditor.
“There were issues in the auditor’s office with how the money was flowing through the account,” Stoops said. “The auditor at the time was shifting funds around to make up money in other accounts that weren’t even related to the Run-Away grant.”
Stoops said currently the county can account for $15,000 of the nearly $44,000 dollars the YSB owes, but officials will have start sifting through hard-copy records in order to figure out the rest.