OKLAHOMA COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – A clerical error has left the Oklahoma County jail trust down hundreds of thousands of dollars after the county clerk’s office accidentally overpaid the IRS. An emergency county commissioners meeting was held Monday to try to stop the situation from spinning out of control.
“Our office made a clerical error on the IRS payment for the jail trust group resulting in an overpayment to the IRS in the amount of $638,772.37,” said acting Oklahoma County Clerk Kerrie Hudson to the Oklahoma County Board of County Commissioners.
She made a request that the Oklahoma County Criminal Justice Authority, also known as the jail trust, receive their January allotment from the county one week early, explaining that they’ve asked the IRS for a refund, but in the meantime, if the commissioners don’t front them the overpaid money there will be hundreds of thousands of dollars in bounced checks.
The commissioners unanimously voted to provide the money from the county’s general fund.
“We pay out their approved budget in 12 payments throughout the year, rather than one lump sum,” commissioner Carrie Blumert told KFOR. “Due to a clerical error on the county’s part today in overpaying the IRS for payroll taxes from the Jail Trust’s account, we needed to provide the Jail Trust Authority their January payment early. The Jail Trust had checks out to vendors to be deposited this morning that exceeded their operating balance due to our overpayment to the IRS from their account.”
Commissioner Brian Maughan is calling it, “human error.”
“These things happen,” he said. “No harm, no foul.”
He was pleased to hear Hudson say the county clerk’s office is “reviewing our policy and procedures to make sure this doesn’t happen again”.
She and Oklahoma County Treasurer Forrest “Butch” Freeman said the jail trust’s closing ledger as of Friday was $123,078.63, but that there are checks sent out that total $438,481.21
“I think that there were a couple of breakdown points,” Maughan said of IRS overpayment. “I think probably in the holidays as people were hurrying around and then with a couple of senior staffers perhaps being on vacation, this was just not caught, but I think that there will be controls put in place so that more attempts can be made to avoid this in the future.”
He added that the clerk’s office should receive the fronted money by Tuesday. He is unsure of when the IRS refund will arrive, but believes it’ll be refunded shortly.