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Audit finds MPD failed to follow procedures for seized money

Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 10:12 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) -A new audit found the Monroe Police Department did not follow procedures for handling seized money during the 2021 fiscal year.

The report, conducted by an independent firm, discovered MPD only deposited money into the cities bank account once during the fiscal year, which began in May 2020.

The audit says department policy states it should be done much more frequently.

“That money that is put into evidence over at Wood Street is then supposed to be transferred over to the cities bank account after one working week if it’s over 100 dollars,” said Monroe Police Chief Victor Zordan when asked to explain the policy.

The report stated that failure to transfer money could increase the likelihood funds are lost or stolen. Despite that, Zordan says money collected by MPD was kept in a safe at their headquarters, and a hand-written ledger can account for the funds.

“Of the evidence that came in, where it was stored, it was secure,” explained Chief Zordan. “I don’t have any doubts that our evidence technician did exactly what she was supposed to do.”

The audit also found that “there were no documented periodic inventory inspections completed during the year.” KNOE asked Zordan how he could ensure all the funds were accounted for if no checks were conducted.

He responded by saying, “I can’t make a 100% guarantee on anything, but we strive to do everything we can to be forthright and be truthful. Mistakes happen. This was a mistake. We have worked to correct it.”

Zordan says several changes have already been implemented in response to the audit’s findings.

“We’ve got cameras installed,” said Zordan. We have sign-in lists, check-ins. We have got random audits that are going on. We are making sure every week, anything over $100, per our policy, is transferred into the cities bank account.”

Zordan added that he has created an oversight schedule that will allow senior officers to ensure the policy is being followed.

“We’re going to do independent audits, which was suggested to us by the audit firm to make sure that we don’t get too far down the road without catching any future mistakes,” explained Zordan.

Chief Zordan added that he is hiring an additional person to help in the evidence room. Right now, that responsibility falls on one person.

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