Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rip Van Bishop: "Thanks for wake-up call!"

Fayette County Detention Center Director Ron Bishop knows that when you put yourself in hot water and the heat gets turned up, it's time to dance.

He's dancing. Bishop said:

"In 2004, shortly after I became Director, I requested the audit of all three accounts covered by this audit report in order to ensure that all assets were accounted for and to identify practices and policies that needed improvement. The Prisoner Account Fund and Community Alternative Progam accounts were audited but the Phone Account was not. Therefore, I welcome the recommendations contained in the current audit report."

Guess where all the problems were found? The one area, Phone Account, that wasn't audited. Anyone else wondering why he didn't bother to check into that for five years rather than apparently sleeping on it? If you know the answer, call the FBI. That's one of the things they are trying to figure out.

The audit report Bishop mentions touches on financial mismanagement issues at the heart of an ongoing federal investigation into the activities of former Senior Administrative Officer Don Leach. Bishop might be setting himself up for some follow-up conversations.

"We have not seen any evidence that funds were spent for inappropriate purchases during the audit period or that assets were misused," Bishop said.

The audit, however, states:
"We noted several Memorandums of Agreement between Cottrell Consulting and Community Corrections were executed by the Director of Community Corrections. The LFUCG Charter specifically states that the Mayor shall sign all written contracts or obligations of LFUCG. In addition, interviews with Community Corrections personnel indicate that Community Corrections did not follow the Request for Proposal process when a $120,000 project was awarded to Cottrell via Memorandum of Agreement in October 2005. This is a violation of CAO Policy #1."

Didn't see that in The Lexington Herald Leader.

Expect to hear more about the jail's "phone account."