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Auditor looking at Aquajets finances

By NATHAN WHALEN Whidbey News-Times Staff reporter
November 23, 2012 · Updated 9:45 AM
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The state auditor’s office is examining a North Whidbey Park and Recreation District checking account.

Park district executive director Bill Walker notified the Washington State Auditor’s Office of a checking account in possession of the North Whidbey Aquatic Club that didn’t go through the district’s usual accounting processes.

“I think the director did the right thing by self reporting,” said commissioner Scott Vogt during a meeting last week.

Walker said the checking account was opened in 1996, which was before the park district formally took over operations of the Aquajets in 1999. The account has been used to pay for swim team entry fees and expenses.

Walker cited a state law that states the county treasurer is also the district’s treasurer. All vouchers and warrants approved by the Park and Recreation District board have to go through the county.

He said he notified the auditor’s office when he learned of the account. Because he started working for the park district five months ago, he doesn’t know how staff tracked the account over the years.

Walker said he doesn’t have any knowledge whether state auditors examined the account during previous audits. Those state audits take place every two years.

Mindy Chambers,  spokeswoman for the Washington State Auditor’s Office, said Walker contacted the agency last week and the office has received information from the park district.

“We haven’t made a decision on how to proceed,” Chambers said. She said the auditor’s office doesn’t normally comment on investigations because staff want to make sure due process is followed.

She noted that the auditor’s office released its latest audit report for the park district in February 2012. That report didn’t contain any findings.

The park district is making changes in how it manages swim team expenses. The district is going to discontinue the account and establish a petty cash account, which won’t exceed $10,000, at Whidbey Island Bank for payments that require immediate resolution. The North Whidbey Park and Recreation District Commission unanimously approved it Thursday night.

 

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