Finance clerk makes 17,831 city of Sunnyside dollars disappear - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Finance clerk makes 17,831 city of Sunnyside dollars disappear

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SUNNYSIDE, WA - An employee with the city of Sunnyside is currently being investigated in relation to the disappearance of thousands of city dollars.

"We had an employee who was working in our front office who was receiving utility bills," said mayor of Sunnyside Donald Day. "And they were voiding transactions, and somehow they appeared to be making money disappear."

Day and the city notified the Washington State Auditor's Office, who are actively looking into the disappearance of $17,831.

In addition, they are also looking into questionable transactions involving a little more than $18,000.

The employee responsible for these incidents is the former finance clerk.

"A check, that was the first one that we couldn't locate," Day told reporter Gilbert Magallon. "And that started getting us to look around and look at some other things, and we started seeing a little pattern."

Auditors reviewed several receipt transactions the clerk made that were voided and adjusted, which investigators considered questionable. 

Also questionable was the amount of control the clerk had, which auditors believed was the cause of fraud.

"This employee was given what we call 'permissions in the software system' that she should not have had, and it allowed her to manipulate the system," said Day.

The city of Sunnyside has since made adjustments to safeguard their resources, and Day says officials will be more vigilant to prevent city money from disappearing into thin air.