Adams County filed a lawsuit Thursday against its elected county treasurer, claiming that “tens of millions of dollars” managed by the official has not been reconciled with the treasurer’s banking software system.
Treasurer Lisa Culpepper is named in the 12-page lawsuit filed Thursday in Adams County District Court. The county seeks to access the treasurer’s accounts and “ultimately ensure that the statutory obligations” of the office are met.
âThe treasurer’s office functions as the Adams County bank and by law the accounts must be opened for inspection,â the county said in a press release. “The county and its auditors were unable to obtain the information necessary to examine the county’s finances and exhausted all efforts without the intervention of the courts.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Adams County Commissioners.
“We are united as a board of directors that legal action is needed to ensure that this independently elected office is transparent in the accounting of county taxpayer money,” the commissioners said. in a press release. âTo date, the treasurer has not provided the required reports and has not provided adequate information requested to allow a standard audit of the office. The limited information the board has been able to gather indicates that the treasurer is not timely or accurate in carrying out his statutory duties, which could have a negative impact on the county bond rating and financial outlook. .
Culpepper was elected treasurer in November 2018 and took office on January 1, 2019. Her term expires on January 1, 2023.
Culpepper, a lawyer, practiced real estate and business law for 20 years, according to a profile posted on the county’s website after her election. She also worked on tax audit and compliance in criminal investigations for the State Revenue Department for approximately 15 years.
She could not be reached for comment Thursday evening.
By state law, county treasurers are required to submit a monthly report to county commissioners. Culpepper did not submit such reports for 2019, 2020 and January through July 2021, according to the lawsuit.
“Culpepper failed to reconcile the many bank accounts she manages with the treasurer’s transaction software system,” the lawsuit claims.
“Although Treasurer Culpepper began reporting to (board) in August 2021, (board) has reason to doubt the accuracy of these reports as Treasurer Culpepper has not reconciled her bank statements since March. 2021. “
Additionally, the county is aware of at least three times Culpepper “made duplicate electronic funds transfers to Adams County tax jurisdictions for a total of $ 549,437.” The county learned of the duplicate payments when the overpayment entity reported to the county finance department that it had received funds that were not due.
Another suspected low-quality accounting includes overdue accounting of around $ 90 million in the CARES Act funds. An independent audit found that the Treasurer received a CARE deposit of $ 90,285,974 on April 22, 2020, and was not entered into the Treasurer’s transaction software system until November 17, 2020, 209 days after the initial receipt, depending on the trial.
On August 18, 2021, the county commissioners’ office sent Culpepper a letter informing them that at least five of their employees have filed complaints against their management, including charges of intimidation and disparagement.
On August 25, another letter from the Commissioners was sent to Culpepper regarding âvoter complaintsâ. Voters are complaining that they cannot get an answer on tax payments, tax liens and other important business matters, the letter said. Some people were unable to buy or sell homes in Adams County due to tax questions that were not answered by the treasurer’s office.
Culpepper failed to fulfill his obligations under several state laws, according to the lawsuit. The complaint seeks Culpepper “to cooperate fully and promptly with a court-appointed audit committee” under state law.