The final audit of the Ravalli County Treasurer's Office finds the office was in disarray, but finds no evidence of fraud. The audit comes five months after Treasurer Valerie Stamey was placed on paid administrative leave for falling months behind in filing the office's financial reports.
The final audit into the Ravalli County Treasurer's Office, released by County Attorney Bill Fulbright on Tuesday, shows one thing is certain; changes need to be made in the office.
The audit was completed by the Butte firm, Anderson Zurmuehlen and Co. In his release of the findings, Fulbright said the goal of having an independent forensic investigation into the treasurer's office books was far more comprehensive process than a simple audit. Ravalli County Treasurer Valerie Stamey says otherwise.
"In my mind this was designed to give us exactly what we got, which was a white wash," Stamey said.
Stamey was appointed to the position in September. She was put on leave in January after failing to make deposits, disburse money and make required monthly reports. The two part investigation then started. She then accused current and former county employees of wrongdoing.
"I found things that were wrong, and it was my job to bring the attention to those who could do something about it, but I came under a tremendous amount of attack," Stamey said.
Two outside investigations- an audit into the treasurer's office and a separate investigation into allegations of corruption by county employees- found no fraud, but a lot of disarray. They found Stamey was not fulfilling her job duties. The report shows that may have been due to a general lack of understanding of the required duties or the resources available to fulfill those duties.
"Is there a lot of work to be done? You bet there was, you bet, and I've never disputed that point," Stamey said.
The audit recommends writing new policies and procedures, and creating internal operations for the treasurer's office. In a statement Fulbright said he hopes the report will give everyone the necessary information to move forward with confidence
The commissioners meeting to discuss this audit is set for 10 a.m. Friday, at the Ravalli County Administration building. They decided to put Stamey on leave until the audit was completed. They also passed a resolution directing that a suit be filed against her for refusing to file reports.
Now, they're set to decide further action on her status as treasurer.