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Monroe County Corrections Target Of State Investigation

The Indiana State Board of Accounts is conducting a special investigation into the Monroe County Correctional Facility after the results of an audit released in March unearthed potential financial misconduct within the county sheriff's department.

The audit indicated a lack of oversight when it came to handling the department's money, as well as discrepancies between the office's accounting records.

Sheriff Brad Swain says even though the findings might appear severe, many times auditors' reports simply call for changes in bookkeeping practices.

"Sometimes while reading it in print it looks like there's some egregious violation when it's actually the result of the conversation at the end of the audit," he says. "Some things are just procedural, they would like to see procedural changes...[Such as] 'Here's a better way of keeping your records,' rather than money being missing for nefarious reasons."

Even so, a longtime employee has been fired as a result of the findings, which examined the department's 2013 financial transactions. Swain says the employee had worked with the Correction Center's budget for more than 20 years. He says the sheriff's department is cooperating and has provided an office to facilitate the state's investigation.

"We just look for a solution to the problem and make the appropriate changes and hold people accountable when it's possible," he says.

Additionally, the sheriff's department has updated its policies about how cash is handled.

The State Board of Accounts declined to comment, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

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