MOREHEAD A recent audit conducted by the Auditor of Public Accounts found that former County Clerk Kim Davis failed to turn over two accounts to the current County Clerk, Elwood Caudill Jr.
“Upon vacating office, the former county clerk did not turn the escrow account or the libraries and archives bank account over to the new county clerk,” the audit said. “The libraries and archives grant account and escrow account are funds of the county clerk's office and were not remitted to the incoming county clerk as required by KRS 64.830.”
Caudill replaced the former clerk in January after defeating her in the November 2018 election.
The libraries and archives account balance of $3,762 is comprised of a final amount due to the microfilming company of $3,730, as well as a small amount of interest of $32 earned over the course of the grant. The funds raised in interest can be paid to the clerk’s fee account or to the fiscal court.
Davis’ office wrote a check to the microfilming company and left it in a sealed envelope, however, it cannot be sent until the clerk’s office receives an invoice, and it is unknown when it will arrive to finish the grant for microfilming.
When an invoice does arrive, the current county clerk will not have access to the funds to pay the invoice due to Davis retaining custody of the account holding those funds.
The former county clerk has an escrow bank account which contains amounts held in escrow until the end of a mandatory three-year period. At that time, they are eligible to be remitted to the Kentucky State Treasurer.
At the time of the audit, that account had a balance of $4,410, and it is all eligible to be remitted to the Kentucky State Treasurer.
According to the audit, Davis said she intended to retain custody of the two bank accounts until a check cleared in the libraries and archives account and she remitted amounts due to the Kentucky State Treasurer from the escrow account. Once the accounts were settled, she planned on closing the accounts.
“The two open and active accounts remaining were not turned over due to activity expected in them,” Davis said in a response to the findings. “I had planned on waiting until after audit to make sure that everything checked out, and then I was going to turn them over to present clerk.
“I was unaware that there was a timeframe to turn over all monies, since those two accounts were not funded thru the office as ‘general funds,’ and all other accounts had closed,” she added.
The audit recommended that Davis turn these accounts over to the new clerk pursuant to KRS 64.830.
“It is my intention to turn over these accounts to the present clerk upon exit conference,” Davis said in response to the audit. “All materials and information needed to turn over the escrow acct. is housed in the current clerk's information, as that was left for him. I was neither instructed and told what an exiting clerk must do (Clerk's association or the office of Public Auditor).”