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Bastrop Daily Enterprise - Bastrop, LA
  • Report: Marshal’s office lacks records

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  • A review of financial records from the Bastrop Marshal’s Office revealed no documentation to show just cause for cash withdrawals and inadequate documentation to support various expenditures.
    The report, by West Monroe CPA Mary Jo Finely, outlines how Marshal Lisa Chafford’s failure to provide supporting documents for over $1,000 in cash withdrawals could be a violation of state law.
    Also outlined in the report, submitted to the Office of Legislative Auditor earlier this fall, is Chafford’s inability to produce invoices or other documentation for what Finely’s report calls “numerous expenditures.”
    Finley’s report is not considered an audit of the Marshal’s Office. It is called a compilation of financial statements. In a cover letter issued with the report, Finley states, “Management has elected to omit substantially all of the disclosures required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States.”
    Eric Sloan, director of investigative audits for the Legislative Auditor, said the statement about “elected to omit” isn’t as ominous as it might sound.
    “It is fairly common for smaller political subdivisions, like this office, to submit just basic information,” Sloan said. “If, during the course of the review the auditor determines other records are needed, they’ll request them.”
    In her finding on cash withdrawals, which totaled $1,070, Finley recommended, “The Marshal should discontinue the practice of cash withdrawals with no support in violation of the Constitution.”
    Chafford’s response to the finding stated the withdrawals were “used to reimburse employees/workers while working on different occasions.” The response also states Chafford is “in the process” of gathering receipts to support the withdrawals.
    The marshal also replied that she was gathering supporting documents to validate expenditures.
    Chafford did not return a call to comment Wednesday on her progress in providing the supporting documents.

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