Wednesday, January 13, 2016

$25,000 bond set for former CJ municipal court clerk on felony stealing charge

Bond has been set at $25,000 ($22,500 plus $2,500 cash) for former Carl Junction Municipal Court Clerk Cynthia Troutman, who was charged with felony stealing Tuesday.

A recently completed state audit discovered $55,000 was missing from the court. City officials requested the audit after the municipal court judge found discrepancies in a case file and raised concerns regarding Troutman's conduct.

“The former court clerk took advantage of her position to defraud the people of Carl Junction, and when those in positions of public trust abuse their power, they must be held accountable," Auditor (Nicole) Galloway said. "In addition to pursuing criminal charges, local leaders have also taken steps to address the underlying issues that allowed this fraud to go undetected, and my audit includes additional recommendations to prevent this kind of misconduct in the future.

The audit found at least $65,373 in payments to the court that were received by the former court clerk, but never deposited into court bank accounts. This includes more than $19,000 in cash bonds collected by the police department. Significant weaknesses in accounting procedures and inadequate oversight of court operations allowed this misconduct to go unnoticed for years. Inadequate record-keeping, files that appear to be intentionally disorganized, and discrepancies between documents found in the municipal court office and amounts recorded in the court's system lead auditors to believe there is potentially another $30,000 missing.

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