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May 11, 2012

Alcohol and drug fund payments questioned again by Clark County Commissioners

JEFFERSONVILLE —  At the outset of the Clark County Commissioners meeting Thursday night, the commissioners hesitated to approve the county’s payroll because of payments being made out of the Alcohol and Drug Services fund.

Clark County Commissioner John Perkins balked at making the payment initially, but relented and agreed to approve the claims if Clark County Circuit Court No. 3 Judge Joseph Weber asks the Clark County Council for an additional appropriation out of the county’s general fund at their next meeting.

“This will be the last time I will vote to approve the payroll until those changes are made,” Perkins said.

An issue of payments being made out of the Clark County Alcohol and Drug Services fund was brought to light after a State Board of Accounts audit was released earlier this year. The state cited questionable payments made out of the fund dating back to 2008. It also said the revenue being collected in the fund should not remain in the county, but instead be sent to the state.

Weber arrived at the meeting after the commissioners approved the payroll for the county to offer an explanation of what payments are allowable out of the fund.

“Before you pull the plug and say, ‘you can’t pay any of this out of CCADS,’ according to the State Board of Accounts indeed we can pay some of it out of [the fund],” he said.

Weber explained that eight county employees’ salaries are partially paid out of the fund and he will attend the next county council meeting to provide them with the information.

“There’s actually $225,000 being paid out of that [fund]; $125,000 of those are allowable under the State Board of Accounts audit,” he said.

Weber agreed that some of the payments will come to an end, including payments to cover expenses for other county offices. The prosecutor’s office had already received money out of the Alcohol and Drug fund this year, before the State Board of Accounts had released its audit report, but he said those types of payments will not be made again.

“Some of this is no problem in the short run,” Weber said. “In the long-run the funds won’t be available anyhow, whether it’s allowable or not. As far as the new budget coming up, we’re not going to ask to do any of that.”

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