Commissioner Georgia Hiller reacts to audit exposing payroll theft/forgery

Julie Salomone

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Commissioner Georgia Hiller reacts to audit exposing payroll theft/forgery

By Julie Salomone. CREATED Mar 1, 2013

NAPLES, Fla.- Fox 4 tracking your tax dollars after an audit in Collier County exposes problems with Collier County's Parks and Recreation Department.

Commissioner Georgia Hiller is now fighting for accountability on behalf of Collier County taxpayers. An audit revealed payroll theft and forgery within 2 county facilities in Immokalee.

"Do you think taxpayer money was wasted?" asked Fox 4 reporter Julie Salomone.

"Stolen, not wasted. Stolen, absolutely," said Commissioner Hiller.

Collier County's Clerk Dwight Brock says the audit looked at the Immokalee Sports Complex and Immokalee Community Park. An investigation found a supervisor falsified time cards. Checks were received and then cashed at local Immokalee businesses.

"Anything that could have gone wrong, we found, no manager oversight of what was going on at all," said Dwight Brock, Clerk.

Brock presented the findings of the audit to commissioners this week and Commissioner Georgia Hiller says she has major concerns that some of the records requested during the audit couldn't be located.

"The fact that those records have disappeared and or been destroyed is up most concern to me. Those records belong to the public and must be protected," said Hiller.

For example, in one case the county clerk requested time sheets and half the records he asked for could not be located.

"One type of records we requested, over half of the records we were looking for were destroyed," said Brock.

Brock says it's hard to pinpoint just how much taxpayer money was wasted.

"People have asked me, how much was taken? Absolutely, no way to determine how much was taken because of the destruction of records," said Brock.

Hiller says its now up to the county clerk to work with the county manager to make sure this doesn't happen again.

"The board has directed the county manager to work with the clerk of courts to identify the deficiencies of internal controls and do what's necessary to correct what is a weakness in the system," said Hiller.