Audit Uncovers Financial Irregularities in Ramer City Gov’t

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Comptroller Justin Wilson, July 7, 2015:

Money Mismanagement Plagues City of Ramer in McNairy County

A new investigation by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office details a long list of problems with the city of Ramer’s financial operations. Some of these deficiencies have remained uncorrected for several years. Based on the poor condition of the city’s accounting records we cannot determine if all city collections are accounted for.

Investigators reported the city manager failed to present all cash on hand during an official cash count by the Comptroller’s office. The city manager told investigators that she failed to present the $3,031.11 because she was nervous. The money was eventually deposited into the city’s official bank account.

The investigative report goes on to list twenty problems in the city manager’s office. Some of these deficiencies include:

1. Collections were not deposited promptly. For several months, the city manager made as few as two deposits per month. For the month of November 2012, the city manager did deposit water account collections. The delay in depositing funds increases the risk of fraud.

2. The city manager did not bill any utility accounts in January 2013.

3. Investigators noted several canceled checks with missing or unreadable payees.

4. The city did not maintain records to determine the amount of money owed to it at any given time.

All of the findings and recommendations in the investigative report have been reviewed with the district attorney general for the Twenty-fifth Judicial District.

“This report is disappointing on a number of levels,” Comptroller Justin P. Wilson said. “The city of Ramer has a problem with financial management. Numerous annual audits have also drawn attention to these serious matters. The citizens of Ramer expect and deserve more from city management.”

To view the investigation online, go to: http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/ia/