The South San Luis Obispo County Sanitation Districts expenditures and bank balances show that during the past 15 months there is over $800,000 in money that is not accounted for, according to a presentation by Director Jim Hill.
Hill compared revenues with expenses and found statement shortfalls during the 2016-2017 fiscal year in excess of $650,000. Hill’s presentation revealed another $200,000 is unaccounted for since the current fiscal year started in July.
Paul Karp, interim district administrator, does not believe the money was taken. Because of employee shortages and maintenance issues, the administrator has not had time properly look into the account balances.
“It started over a year ago,” Karp said. “We do not think anyone stole anything. We just have to get on it.”
Before March 2017, district secretary/bookkeeper Amy Simpson was tasked with making sure the books were balanced. On March 6, former plant administrator Gerhardt Hubner placed Simpson on paid administrative leave.
Hubner then tasked three people with covering Simpson’s duties: a plant operator, a part time accountant and a friend and employee of vice chair Linda Austin.
Since then, several public speakers have complained that the monthly financial reports do not balance.
Several months ago, Hill first asked staff to look into the accounting discrepancies.
In response, Hubner argued that the numbers were correct. Both directors John Shoals and Austin then voted to approve the monthly financials with Hill dissenting.
In addition to financial inaccuracies, the district is also under fire for failing to complete its 2015-2016 audit. On July 31, County Auditor Controller Jim Erb informed the sanitation district that its 2015-16 audit was overdue and warned that the county is allowed by law to perform the necessary audit at the district’s expense.
After more than eight months, Simpson is slated to return to the district in the next few weeks.