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State finds ‘significant deficiency’ in McNairy County financial audit

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A state audit has found significant problems in McNairy County government's finances.

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office said in its annual audit of the fiscal year that ended June 30 includes 11 findings of "noncompliance or significant deficiency within county government offices."

Eight of those findings were reported in the prior year’s audit and have not been corrected, the state said.

"What we see here is a problem of McNairy not following state law, not following county policy and just poor government operation," said John Dunn with the Tennessee Comptroller's Office. "People should be concerned findings are not being corrected. For 5 years now, McNairy County has had at least nine findings and people should feel it’s time to fix the problems."

Auditors found problems in the offices of the County Mayor, Sheriff, Highway Commissioner, and Director of Schools. These findings included expenditures exceeding approved appropriations, accounting deficiencies, a $160,000 cash overdraft by the school board and inadequate internal controls over software programs.

"McNairy County has had at least nine audit findings in each of the last five fiscal years. Meanwhile, other Tennessee counties have experienced improved audit results," the state said in a news release.

McNairy County Mayor Larry Smith accepted the criticism.

In fact, he just got elected last year on the promise he would fix the issues.

“The corrective action plan moving forward is what the previous administration chose to do is address those amendments annually. Moving forward we're going to address them quarterly," Smith said.

All department heads signed corrective action pledges with the state.

To view the McNairy County Audit Report click here.

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