KACo Audit Finds "Self Serving Culture"

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Extravagant spending has been revealed in a State Auditor’s examination of the finances of the Kentucky Association of Counties.

For five years, beginning in 2003, revenues at the Kentucky Association of Counties rose 75-percent, boosting the annual budget to almost six million dollars. And from 2006 to 2009, more than three million dollars in questionable expenditures were made by the KACo board, management and staff.

“On lavish dinners, alcohol, sports and entertainment tickets, staff birthday meals and extravagant Christmas parties,” State Auditor Crit Luallan said.

Luallen added the exam also found weak internal controls, minimal ethics policies and no whistleblower policy, but no criminal wrongdoing. The 382-page report includes more than 150 recommendations for improvements, many of which have already been instituted. Former KACo director Bob Arnold resigned last month.