November 1, 2022 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

I attended the November 1, 2022 Camden County Commission meeting at 10:00 a.m.

Commissioners Hasty and Gohagan were present.

This meeting was held in the Commission Annex Building conference room. It was pretty crowded because there were about a dozen people in the room besides the Camden County employees who normally attend. Members from the Osage Beach and Horseshoe Bend Special Road Districts also attended.

The only item on the agenda for this meeting was MDD Forensic Accountants. To recap, Osage Beach and Horseshoe Bend Special Road Districts have complained for the last four years that they have been receiving their property tax funding in an inconsistent and irregular manner. They have also been charged an administrative fee of 20% by Camden County for their road levy, but nobody has been able to explain what statute justifies that fee. Their complaints were ignored by Camden County.

In an effort to straighten out the county’s own house and avoid potential legal action by the road districts, Commissioner Gohagan pushed for the Commission to send out bids for a forensic audit of Camden County’s revenue distribution system. The Camden County Commission accepted a bid from MDD to conduct a forensic audit on the Camden Collector’s Office and the county revenue system to figure out what the heck is going on with county tax distribution.

Peter Karutz was at the meeting. He is a Partner from MDD and he introduced himself to everyone. He also introduced his associate, Seth Duck. Karutz was very friendly, but he definitely gave the impression that he knows his business. He described what his company does as he fixed each elected official with a gimlet eye.

Karutz explained that MDD performs many audit-related tasks including corporate valuations, fraud investigation, and the detection of lost revenue. In Karutz’s words, “They find out where the holes are.” Their specialty is forensic accounting.

It sure looked to me like these gentlemen were only going to have to lick the Camden County calf once.

The Commission then voted unanimously to sign the engagement letter with MDD.

Someone asked when the audit would begin? Karutz calmly replied that it would start that very afternoon. You could have heard a pin drop. It was as if the teacher had just announced a pop quiz. It looks like these MDD guys didn’t drive down here just to attend a meeting.

Karutz was asked who they would report their findings to? It will be Commissioner Gohagan. That made sense since both special road districts are in his district.

Karutz explained that the first phase of their audit will focus on information gathering. He then started scheduling afternoon interview meetings with elected officials. Let’s wish him luck because that poor guy might not realize what he’s about to uncover. You just can’t unsee some things.

And that was that. For now.

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