Chickens Come Home to Roost

LIBERTY, November 16, 2016 – Problems with Donna Brown’s District Clerk Office have surfaced as a result of an internal audit by the Liberty County Auditor’s Office.

According to a letter obtained by today, the purpose of this audit was to ascertain the level of compliance with applicable laws, the safeguarding of assets, and the integrity and reliability of information disseminated by the District Clerks Office.

One major concern of the audit was the grossly inaccurate data that has been submitted to the Officer of Court Administration (OCA) over the previous 5 years by the District Clerk’s Office since Donna Brown has served as District Clerk.

There were numerous incomplete affidavits of Indigency scanned not in the case files.

Felony DWI criminal fines are not properly assessed or collected on several cases involving state and local charges as required by CCP.

During fieldwork, we observed that there is a general lack of Management Oversight within the District Clerk’s Office. Employees are allowed to enter data, accumulate file information and collect funds with little, if any, oversight, according to County Auditor A. D. Gott, CPA.

All of these concerns and others in the audit were forwarded to Angela Garcia, Judicial Information, Austin, TX.

Furthermore Gott asks Garica for help in resolving the problem.

Gott writes, “The scope and magnitude of problems within the Liberty County District Clerk’s Office presents a significant problem for your agency in compiling accurate data reflecting the activities of the District Courts within Liberty County. Their systemic problems in providing accurate and complete case files and information is placing an undue burden on our District Courts, preventing them from operating at optimal efficiency. Therefore, my office is formally requesting your agency to perform a review of the practices of the Liberty county District Clerk.”

The letter goes onto identify 23 areas of deficiency in the District Clerk’s Procedures and practices.

It also found one case of employee collusion in the filing of a case without payment of the filing fee.

According to sources, this matter will be the subject of an upcoming Commissioners Court Meeting and the work of the OCA.

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