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State audit finds another alleged theft in Yakima County Clerk's Office

State audit finds another alleged theft in Yakima County Clerk's Office

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. - The Office of the Washington State Auditor says there's a big error in Yakima County's employee payroll.

The findings show a theft in the county clerk's office.

"Probably the biggest problem up there is they have an employee who falsified their time records and stole money from the county," said Yakima County Auditor Charles Ross.

According to the findings, the clerk's office financial supervisor allegedly embezzled $2,743 between November 2017 and March of this year.

However, Ross said this is not the first time something like this has happened.

"Those are concerning issues," he said. "Those kind of follow an audit finding from before that lack of control and there is money that has been stolen from that office a year ago, that they are currently looking at pending charges on the person that they suspect."

In 2017, the same financial supervisor was accused of pocketing over $3,000 from the clerk's office.

That employee was placed on paid leave while a criminal investigation is taking place.

Now Ross said the supervisor is reporting overtime and vacation hours when they are not really working.

"Whether it's money that shows up on your paycheck or if it's money you steal out of a till, it's the same thing," Ross said. "It's the taxpayers dollars that are not rightfully yours."

Yakima County Commissioner Ron Anderson said they received a letter of the findings from the state auditor on December 17 and sent it to the Yakima County Prosecutor's Office for further action.

Anderson said unfortunately for now the county has to eat the money lost. However, he hopes with new leadership coming into the clerk's office in January, that they can straighten things out and make sure this doesn't happen again.

KIMA Action News reached out to the Yakima County Clerk's Office and they declined to comment at this time.

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