Starting in July, certified public accountant DA Saito will conduct an audit of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office past and present financials.

According to Sheriff Amy Reyes, Reyes’ team has struggled to reconcile financials inherited from former Sheriff Rod Fenske.

One notable issue is the lack of records surrounding LCSO’s seizure fund. As far as Reyes can tell, no LCSO seizures from the last eight years, whether cash, vehicles or even houses, were registered with the state. Law enforcement agencies are required to report civil forfeitures to the state on a biannual basis.

The audit will also examine Fenske’s cost-of-care practices at the Lake County Jail in 2018. According to a Fifth Judicial District Grand Jury report released last week, Fenske’s administration improperly billed at least 14 inmates over $16,000 for cost of care.

The audit will determine if any inmates not named in the grand jury report were illegally billed. It will also identify what inmates must be compensated for misappropriated funds, as the majority of inmates are yet to pay the cost-of-care bills.

“The audit will cover all current and past bookkeeping and determine best practices moving forward,” Sheriff Amy Reyes told the Herald. “The hope is to have a blank slate in 2020.”

The Board of County Commissioners signed off on the audit contract, which permits Reyes to spend up to $33,000 on the audit through 2019, last week.

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