Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

September 4, 2013

Jailer says CCDC on the right track after audit

By Leeann Akers - Editor
Journal-Times

Sept. 4, 2013 — All audit recommendations are now being followed at the Carter County Detention Center, according to Jailer R.W. Boggs.

CCDC was hit with 11 instances on non-compliance during the annual audit.

Boggs said the main issue, dealing with inventory of electronic cigarettes, was addressed because it was an entirely new thing.

“The majority of the inmates are tobacco dependent, but no tobacco is allowed inside the jail per state law,” Boggs said. “When we started we ran through eight different companies and had a lot of problems in the beginning.”

Boggs said the auditors looked at the process from day one, which was long before the July 1, 2011, time the audit was supposed to cover.

Since CCDC was the first jail in the state to begin selling e-cigarettes, Boggs said they were on a learning curve.

“We didn't know we needed to keep the ones that were defunct in some way,” Boggs said. “Plus the auditors weren't excited about the fact that inmates had touched these. They never counted the cigarettes one by one, they looked in a box and kind of eyeballed it.”

Boggs said doing things the way they had “always been done” when it came to things like inventory and petty cash, was an issue with the auditors.

“Some things I just don't have the manpower to do,” Boggs said. “I have one office manager – and it seems like everyone who is audited gets hit with segregation of duties.”

The implication that Boggs had lied to auditors about his wife's business of selling e-cigarettes to other area jails was, he claims, more about asking the wrong question.

“They asked me if Carter County Detention Center can buy these from a local vendor and the answer is no,” Boggs said. “It is legal to buy them from my wife but there has been such strife between the jail and Fiscal Court, I didn't want to add another layer to it. Where that relationship is right now, it just wouldn't look good.”

Boggs did say his wife, Laura, started selling e-cigarettes after she saw how well they were selling at the jail.

“We are entrepreneurs,” Boggs said. “I think the commissary could make more money. The company we use does a good job with it but on a small regional scale it could be done better.”

Boggs said the majority of the other issues were fixed before the auditors were even out the door.

“This is a new state auditor,” Boggs said. “And this is the first time that this auditor has been in the jail. A lot of the issues, like petty cash, have never been brought to our attention.”

Boggs said he hopes that fleet cards will soon be approved by the Fiscal Court so long distance transports can resume. He believes the other issues are no longer occurring.

“The nature of an audit is to find issues, not to applaud the good,” Boggs said. “When a new law comes into effect at the state level, sometimes it takes a while to trickle down. Now we know what we needed to be doing and we are making that happen.”

Leeann Akers can be reached at lakers@journal-times.com or by phone at 286-4201.