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Justice Court audit reveals discrepancy in bail balance

An audit of the Riverhead Justice Court found that a bail bank balance is approximately $23,000 more than is accounted for in transaction logs, according to a draft audit report presented to the Town Board Tuesday.

Don Hoffman, a CPA at Cullen & Danowski, explained that meant there was more cash than the court’s detailed records of amounts indicate it owes individual people who post bail.

The court’s accounting director, Roberta Morrissey, said she believes this most likely happened due to errors in accounting prior to a transition period to a new log in 2008, Mr. Hoffman said. Auditors did not perform additional work past that point, but recommend the town and justice court consider how to reconcile and account for the extra $23,000.

Mr. Hoffman said that from one perspective, the fact that the cash account has more than the detailed records is a “good thing, as opposed to the other direction.”

Overall, the records were well-maintained and cash transactions that were tested were accounted for, according to the draft report.

The audit process included interviews with all justice court staff and justices. Mr. Hoffman noted the staff is experienced and knowledgeable, but said another recommendation would be to have staff some up with written procedures “associated with come of the things that they know right at the top of their heads” and provide some cross-training among staff.

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