State Auditor Clarifies Findings Were From Previous Town of Jonesboro Administration

In a statement issued on June 4th, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s (LLA) office clarified a previous report regarding the finances of the Town of Jonesboro. In summary, the findings were from the previous town administration and as result no current opinions on the town finances could be issued.

“The report that was just issued related to fiscal year 2018, which was under the previous mayor’s administration,” said Bradley Cryer, Director of Local Government Services for the office of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor. “Upon taking office in January of 2019, Mayor Leslie Thompson hired a CPA firm to address outstanding issues from fiscal year 2018 and the first half of fiscal year 2019. We receive regular updates from the CPA on the progress of corrective actions.”

The town of Jonesboro had 23 findings on an audit that spanned the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2018. Nineteen of the findings were carried over from previous years. Seventeen of the findings were considered material weaknesses.

The auditor found the town failed to properly prepare bank reconciliations or to submit bank statement and bank reconciliation records to the auditor. The town also may not have complied with the state’s Public Bid Law with its fuel purchases and did not comply with its own policies over purchasing.

In addition, the liability for customer deposits exceeded the cash available to refund them, and the utility fund accounts receivable included bad debts. Furthermore the auditor found customer refunds were not in the billing system, and overtime pay to employees seemed to be excessive.

Other findings included poor utility billing procedures, inconsistent reading of meters, late billing of customers, failure to provide monthly financial statements to the Board of Aldermen and a certificate of deposit was cashed with the proceeds deposited into the general fund without the approval of the Board of Aldermen. One finding from the 2017 audit was resolved: a bank account required by the debt service agreement was fully funded. It was initially reported in 2015.

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