No, I’m not talking about Herman Cain. Today’s Commercial Appeal hits Paul Boyd with this headline: “Audit Cites Problems with Probate Clerk.”
Reading that, and with his picture inserted, a reader might immediately make the jump to thinking that some kind of corruption or embezzlement is taking place in his office. Buttressing that is the secondary headline, “Internal county report taps 14 areas in need of control, some fostering embezzlement.”
Until you read the story.
“The report doesn’t accuse anyone of any crime, but says management should correct the issues quickly,” reports Daniel Connolly. “Court Clerk Paul C. Boyd said he’s already takings steps to do so.” In fact, “an audit investigated for more than two months, and while her report flagged problems, it found no money missing. ‘There’s nothing really unaccounted for,’ he said.”
Aside from the fact that the office keeps “cash in an unlocked drawer (probably office petty cash),” the only other problem the article raises is “some of the investment accounts weren’t reconciled with the court clerk’s books. In the case of accounts held at Bank Tennessee, there was a gap of $128,000 between the two, the report said.”
The explanation is completely credible. “Boyd and Harshman (one of the administrators) said the court controls hundreds of accounts and that the banks don’t always send statements on a timely basis (something most of us have encountered in our own banking experiences). They said that in the future, they will pick one day of the year to seek correct information from the banks and reconcile all the accounts. The report said some investment accounts were still associated with the name of past administrators (Boyd has only held the jobs for one year).”
The story, in other words, is a big nothing. Perhaps they did it to take some of the attention away from the scandal of Democrats in the Chancery Court Clerk’s office where one of them did plead guilty last month in federal court to embezzling more than a million.