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City audit finds money mismanaged at animal control

Over $23K unaccounted for, $20K in uncashed funds found in office

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An audit of the city's Animal Care and Protective Services Division found over $20,000 in income unaccounted for and another $87,000 in unauthorized purchases.

The audit called into question the division's bookkeeping and accounting practices.

According to the Council Auditor's Office, Ana Andreu, the ACPS employee in charge of  processing deposits, resigned the day after the office conducted a surprise cash count of ACPS last spring.

READ: City audit of Animal Care and Protective Services

Her abrupt resignation triggered the full audit of the division's financial activity, which found $23,757 that was not deposited with the Tax Collector, $20,971 in undeposited checks and money orders in Andreu's office and $87,776 in unauthorized purchases.

The audit recommended that ACPS attempt to locate and deposit any money that is presently not deposited and “determine whether any legal and/or disciplinary action is warranted against any current or former employees who were responsible for handling the collection and/or deposit of funds.”

Also, controls surrounding cash collections and deposits need to be enhanced and brought into compliance with city policy, including the timely deposit of collections.

Also, formal policies and procedures need to be implemented surrounding the division's cash collection activities.

Purchases need to be done in a manner consistent with the intent of the City Procurement Code.

Change orders should be approved by appropriate personnel so that the essence of the code is followed and payments need to be processed in a timely manner.

ACPS agreed to comply with all of the audit's recommendations.

Former ACPS chief Nikki Harris, who was Andreu's boss, resigned last October, a month after two whistleblowers lodged allegations of mismanagement against her.

The city’s inspector general and the state attorney’s office are still investigating ACPS and Harris. That investigation is expected to be completed sometime this year.