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Gibson County audit is ‘concerning,’ says Comptroller

Gibson County’s annual financial report has our local leadership in hot water with the state.

According to the county audit, released by the Tennessee Comptroller’s Office on Wednesday, January 10, six of the eight findings come from the Gibson County Mayor’s Office, which employs the Gibson County Finance Director Leslie Milligan.

The findings, which Comptroller Jason Mumpower said “demonstrate deficiencies, weaknesses and areas of noncompliance,” include $109,463 being withheld from the county for not reporting grant funds during the COVID-19 pandemic, three missing checks totaling $11,920, a $107,965 cash overdraft, and others, several of which the county knew of in January of 2023, well before the closing of the 2022-23 Fiscal year on June 30.

Findings from the County Mayor’s Office are:

• Gibson County did not comply with the reporting requirements for Provider Relief Funds.
• The General and Other Special Revenue funds required material audit adjustments for proper financial
statement presentation.
• The office had accounting deficiencies.
• The Other Special Revenue Fund had a fund deficit at June 30, 2023.
• The General Capital Projects Fund had a cash overdraft at June 30, 2023.
• The office had deficiencies in budget operations.

County Mayor Nelson Cunningham concurred with all findings, noting that his office would be working to ensure that the problems do not reoccur in the 2023-24 audit.

The audit included two other findings, one from the office of Gibson County Trustee Melissa Workman and another from the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office.

The County Trustee’s Office was censured for paying a check that exceeded the cash available, which is against state statutes.

Workman stated in her response to the finding that she had emailed Milligan on March 31, 2023, about how to ensure capital purchases are budgeted and amended and how to move money in the Trustee’s Office. According to Workman’s response to the Comptroller’s Office, the Finance Director had not rectified any of the overdrafts by July 17, more than two weeks after the close of the fiscal year.

The finding attributed to the Gibson County Sheriff’s Office came due to the fact that the Sheriff’s Office is currently under investigation by the state Comptroller’s Division of Investigations. Any findings resulting from the investigation will be released at a later date.

For a more detailed look at the findings, pick up a copy of your local newspaper next week.


1 Comment

  1. Ron Barnes on January 16, 2024 at 10:51 am

    Report is beyond concerning. It would seem the Finance Director office is unable to perform their duties. Whether through incompetence or laziness, it is clear that that office needs to be cleared out and replaced with people who are capable of performing the duties competently and timely. The County Mayor and whoever else has oversight seem unable to monitor the office. Maybe they should be replaced as well.

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