State audit report helps Griffith correct late bond payments issue

2013-07-21T19:30:00Z 2013-07-21T21:46:06Z State audit report helps Griffith correct late bond payments issueBy Anna Ortiz anna.ortiz@nwi.com nwitimes.com
July 21, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

GRIFFITH | Late bond payments by the town of Griffith cost an estimated $1,300 in extra interest, a state audit concludes.

Griffith Clerk-Treasurer George Jerome said the late payments resulted from multiple transitions of clerk-treasurers in the office, including the February 2012 death of previous clerk-treasurer, Bill Broderick.

Jerome said being audited helped him get back on track.

"You hate to be told you did something wrong," Jerome said. "But the purpose of being audited is saying, 'There's a red flag going up here.' It's so you don't have issues in the future. Better being told you did something wrong now than to keep doing it and then get bit later."

The debt was paid as soon as it was brought to the town's attention, according to Jerome. He said the collected interest will have little to no effect on the town.

"It's unfortunate we have to spend $1,300 we don't need to," Jerome said. "But it's a matter of strengthening the internal process."

When a new town treasurer enters the picture, it's common for errors to spring up, he said. Between December 2011 and March 2012, there were four different Griffith clerk-treasurers.

In 2011, the town clerk-treasurer of 16 years resigned and was replaced by Broderick in January 2012. Broderick passed away shortly after. Jerome took over the clerk-treasurer position in March 2012. An interim treasurer filled in between Broderick and Jerome.

There was a scant paper trail of hand-written notes on procedures and financial records, Jerome said, once he was in the position.

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