Prosecuting attorney looking into Bryant audit

The 2012 legislative audit findings for the city of Bryant were released to the public Wednesday and two findings have been referred to Ken Casady, Saline County Prosecuting Attorney.

These two findings involve lack of documentation or no documentation for travel expense, said state Rep. Kim Hammer, who serves on the state legislative audit committee. These expenses total $5,573, according to the audit report.

"When I spoke to legislative audit (committee members) yesterday, they said that they have some items that will be given to the prosecuting attorney for possible charges. In my six years as alderman, this is the first time I have heard of this happening for Bryant," said Alderman Adrian Henley.

Casady confirmed that the findings were sent to his office, but this is "normal business", he said.

It is too early to say if charges will be filed or are even warranted, he said.

The high turnover rate in the finance department may have caused the missing documentation, said Bryant Mayor Jill Dabbs.

During the Bryant Finance and Personnel Committee meeting, Dabbs said only minor issues were revealed and she said she is happy with the results.

According to the report, other findings include some accounting errors in the finance department and in the district court. The police department also could not locate 19 citations books and 92 manual citation books were not filed with the District Court Clerk.

The errors found in the finance department were only misclassifications, Dabbs said.

"I am confident errors of this nature will not occur in the future," Dabbs said. "None of these errors are an indicator of malfeasance, misappropriation of funds or unaccounted for monies."

These errors have been corrected and the members of the finance department have changed software and completed new training so the errors won't occur again.

The problem with the police department's citation books were corrected when the department switched to electronic tickets, Dabbs said.

"This is due to past employees that are no longer employed," said Chief Mark Kizer.

Now only four citations books are missing.

"It is my hope with the release of this audit report some if not all of the concern created by political motives can be put to rest and the citizens of Bryant have a renewed confidence in their local government to conduct business ethically, morally and efficiently," Dabbs said.

Some aldermen have stated they are still not comfortable with the city's finances. Alderman Brenda Miller said she will not feel secure in the city's finances until the 2013 audit is completed.

Henley, said he found serious errors in the audit.

"I believe the audit speaks for itself and according to the audit, we have issues that are in the past and present. These issues need to be corrected immediately and transparently," he said.

The findings in the police department and district court concern him, he said.

"I believe that these items need to be investigated to the fullest extent to prove that there was no wrongdoing and clear our police department of any such wrong accusations," he said.