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August 10, 2022

Shelby County Forensic Audit – Misinformation Campaign In Overdrive

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On April 11, 2022

Shelby Co. (ECWd) –

We first covered the Shelby County forensic audit results in this article. It didn’t take long for people to attempt to spin the information and actually post false claims.  While there is plenty of information to share which has yet to be made public, let’s share some key points to put things in perspective and hopefully put the misinformation in check.

From a local Shelby County social media site:

“The long-awaited Sheriff’s Office audit is now complete! The ultimate findings were an UNDERPAYMENT to the deputies of over $6,000. How many deputies have left since these accusations began?”

Anyone who would take the time to actually read the summary of the forensic auditor would quickly see how wrong the above statement is.  According to the second page of the report, county employees in the Sheriff’s office are owed $332,598.00 Which is a far cry from the posted claim of deputies being owed over $6,000.  From a taxpayer standpoint, I think a major issue the poster missed is the county is owed $326,315.00.

What accusations are they referring to?  Accusations of possible payroll fraud have been part of a criminal investigation since 2019.  The Attorney General and the Illinois State Police claim it is still an active investigation. For those who don’t want to believe there is anything to the investigation, then maybe they can explain why the ISP redacted 37 pages of files pertaining to the payroll investigation.  These files include unredacted information pertaining to both the illegal gun sales and purchases by deputies, and the payroll investigation.  The point of sharing these files is to emphasize that the accusations were actually founded on facts.  Sooner or later, the whole truth will come out and those trying to imply there is no wrongdoing by anyone will have a lot of crow to eat.

From a former employee comment on a local Shelby County social media site:

  • “but no fraud”

Anyone who actually read the report or listened to the auditor would know that it was not the auditor’s place to determine if fraud was committed. In the very first paragraph, the next to last sentence is clear.  “Our report is not intended to declare whether fraud has occurred but rather to identify if there are indicators of fraud.

Did the audit findings find “indicators” of fraud?

What is it called when you have the following:

  • An employee paid for 3 hours of holiday pay on a date when there was no holiday during the pay period.
  • An employee had a non-worked holiday that was paid for that also earned comp time of 8 hours.
  • Two employees take an unpaid *9-/day for holidays and use the holiday at the date of their discretion.
  • A deputy took a 10hour personal day and also earned 8 hours comp time on the same date
  • An employee was paid 6 hours overtime when the attendance reports do not reflect any overtime worked.
  • Comp time earned was commonly at an amount that is inconsistent with a time and a half allowance.
  • An employee was paid out 168 hours of comp time that didn’t show up on the attendance reports.
  • An employee had “sold back” 16 vacation hours and 205 comp time hours that never showed up on a payroll report.
  • Two employees would commonly take a holiday as an unpaid day off and credit comp time to take an additional day off at a later time. This is not identified as a possibility by the contract and results in fewer hours worked.

I think most would look at the above findings and conclude those are indicators of fraud.  For a person to imply there was no fraud may be explained by the fact they were a former employee.

While many folks are focusing on the deputies, people should not forget these audit reports point to both deputies and “employees”.  Office staff, dispatchers, and corrections officers are included in this matter and of the findings above, notice it is not the deputies being pointed to in most of those findings.

Those responsible for monitoring payroll and turning it in should be held accountable for these matters. If actions are found to not be criminal, then clearly most would agree it’s gross negligence.  If it is the latter, why are they still employed?

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1 Comment
  • Dave
    Posted at 15:28h, 11 April

    Active denial

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