Updated at 6:00 PM CST: A criminal investigation will begins against a former court clerk in McDonald County, Missouri.
Missouri's state auditor recommends a criminal investigation after his office found about $20,000 missing from Pineville's municipal court funds.
Money from the municipal court goes to both the state and the City of Pineville.
The state's audit report went from June 2010 to May 2012. City officials say during all but a month of that time, the person in charge of collecting money from municipal court was Pineville's former court clerk, Andrea Faidley.
No charges have been filed yet but McDonald County prosecutor Jonathan Pierce says now that the state's report has been released he'll ask the Missouri Highway Patrol to lead a criminal investigation against Faidley.
"It's always upsetting to see that money is being misused in any capacity, whether it be by a clerk or the government, I don't like to see money misused - I don't like to see money missing," says Pierce.
Updated at 12:10 PM CST: Nearly $20,000 is missing from the City of Pineville, Missouri Municipal Division of the Judicial Circuit Court. That's according to a report from Missouri State Auditor Thomas Schweich
The McDonald County prosecuting attorney says he will go forward with a criminal investigation against the former Pineville city court clerk. The prosecuting attorney says the Missouri Highway Patrol will be asked to lead the criminal investigation, which was recommended by the state auditor's office.
The state auditor's office was contacted in June 2012 by the McDonald County Prosecuting Attorney with credible evidence of missing money. The report says it found that receipts totaling at least $19,648 had been received but not deposited between June 2010 and May 2012. It's believed at least another $1,648 may be missing as well.
The investigation began June 4, 2012 when the Pineville city clerk "found case files in disarray, undeposited checks payable to the municipal division dated months prior, and instances where tickets had never been entered into the JIS" (Justice Information System) the report says.
A court clerk had been terminated just days before the request for the investigation. That court clerk had been with Pineville from May 3, 2010 through June 1, 2012 and had also been responsible for receiving water payments as well.
The state auditor's report says some records documenting amounts received could not be located. Neither could some records of case and ticket dispositions. Many receipt slips were found stamped "PAID", though the money was not recorded or deposited.
The auditor's report notes several procedure inconsistencies, including reporting that the former court clerk adjusted amounts of fines and costs without obtaining independent approval, and these were not always adequately documented. The auditor's report also notes a lack of oversight by the city.
The city says they have made changes in their procedures under the recommendations of the state auditor's office.
We will have more on this story later today.