Audit: Grady County officials were overpaid more than $700,000

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GRADY COUNTY, Okla. – An audit by a state agency has found that some Grady County officials were overpaid thousands of dollars over a 10-year period.

According to the report by the Oklahoma State Auditor & Inspector, the audit began after Grady County District Attorney Jason Hicks requested assistance from the agency.

Officials say they received a letter from Hicks, asking that the Office of the State Auditor and Inspector conduct a special investigative audit “regarding allegations that elected officials were being paid in excess of limits allowed by state statute.”

In the report, authorities say that the Board of County Commissioners is responsible for setting the salaries of county officials. However, they say that didn’t happen in this case.

“The Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) did not set and approve the salaries for the elected county officials of Grady County which resulted in the elected county officials receiving a salary in excess of that allowed by 19 O.S. 180.67-180.83,” the report states.

“We reviewed the minutes of the Board of County Commissioner’s meetings from July 1, 2008 through August 31, 2018. OSAI found no Board action addressing the salaries for county officials until August 20, 2018. Interviews with the current and former County Commissions revealed that the BOCC did not formally set the salaries for the county officials by action of the Board, nor could they recall anyone performing the calculation to determine the maximum salary amounts allowed by state statute.”

As a result, investigators determined that several county officials were overpaid beginning on July 1, 2008 through Aug. 31, 2018.

According to the auditor’s report, Grady County officials were overpaid a total of $727,343.03 during that 10-year period.

During the meeting on Aug. 20, commissioners passed a resolution to set elected officials’ salaries.

“The resolution reduced the annual salaries of Grady County elected officials to $62,275 to conform with the Oklahoma statutory requirements,” the report reads.

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