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County’s audit ‘clean’ even with thefts from sheriff

Forty minutes after being told an outside auditing firm reported “a clean audit — the best opinion you can get” for Cole County government’s financial record-keeping, commissioners on Monday approved a $49,367.69 transfer of funds into Sheriff Greg White’s budget.

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“This replaces the various funds that were stolen,” White told the three-member commission. “It specifically is coming from contingency (funds) which, my understanding is, should be (repaid) from the insurance policy — based on a conviction.”

County Auditor Jim LePage told commissioners last month his review of the sheriff’s records showed nearly $48,000 had been taken, between May 1, 2011, and May 17, 2012, from two accounts managed by a former jail clerk.

That clerk — Gina Freeman, 35, Jefferson City — was charged May 17 with stealing from the accounts, and she’s scheduled to be arraigned July 24 before Associate Circuit Judge Thomas L. Sodergren.

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