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MO state auditor says more than $65,000 missing in Carl Junction - KOAM TV 7

MO state auditor says more than $65,000 missing in Carl Junction

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CARL JUNCTION, MISSOURI -

A former Carl Junction court clerk is accused of stealing more than $65,000.  Charges have not been officially filed yet against the former court clerk, Cindy Troutman.  The Missouri State Auditor says she's suspected because she had the most direct contact with court financials and money.

Troutman's job with the City of Carl Junction was terminated in June of last year.  This state audit began in August of last year.  Jasper County Prosecutor Dean Dankelson says he's been waiting for the results of this audit, and these results will play a big role in the decision of whether or not to file charges.

Carl Junction resident Helen Bailey says things won't be the same for quite a while.

"I think we've lost more trust in our entire government system because of the dishonesty we see," says Bailey.

Carl Junction City Manager Steve Lawver and Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway allege former Carl Junction court clerk Cindy Troutman stole more than $65,000 in municipal court funds.

"That's a lot of money for Carl Junction.  You're looking at two police officers' salaries," says Lawver.

The state auditor also says there's the possibility Troutman stole an additional $30,000 from the court.  But there's no way to be sure, since the audit report only looked at a two-year time frame, and Troutman worked for the City of Carl Junction for 11 years.

"We did ask them to go back as far back as they could," says Lawver.

But the auditor's resources were limited.

According to State Auditor Galloway and City Manager Lawver, Troutman's crimes included not recording money collected.  A computerized system showed several defendants had outstanding amounts due, when they in fact had paid, and had documents to prove it.

Lawver says Troutman was smart enough to fool the city's outside auditor.

"Our annual audit is a sampling, it is not a forensic audit and its not an investigatory audit.  As something would come up that just wasn't quite snuff, we would change the procedure on it.  She would adjust what she was doing to how we had adjusted our procedures, to be able to keep stealing," says Lawver.

Lawver says he wants to assure residents he's doing what he can to prevent this from happening again.

We asked him what he would like to say to Troutman.

"I will not make a comment to her," says Lawver.

"We need to have a check and balance in our government," says Bailey.

City manager Lawver says money is no longer collected at the municipal court, only at city hall.

Troutman worked at the City of Duenweg as both a court and city clerk before working for the City of Carl Junction.  The mayor of Duenweg tells us no suspicious surrounds her activity in Duenweg.

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