St. Louis Public Radio News
3:11 pm
Tue June 30, 2009

Audit finds fraud at St. Louis Department of Streets

St. Louis – An accountant at the St. Louis Department of Streets was fired in May and is facing felony charges after officials say he stole at least $1,210 from the city in a single month last year.

State auditor Susan Montee released a review of the streets department and two other city agencies Tuesday. She said the money in question came from permit fees, and more may be missing.

"When we went to review paperwork, we found receipts that were marked 'void,'" Montee said. "So then we tracked back to see where they were voided out, and we find they're not voided at the origin."

Director Todd Waelterman said he has put more stringent controls in place.

"We have a clerical supervisor now who reconciles the actions of each clerk each day, assembles a spreadsheet each day, verifies the money is there, and then it goes to the accountant, and they double check the records," Waelterman said. "So you have two people verifying what the clerks are doing."

Montee also recommended the department improve documentation of its towing operations. She said city tow trucks are much busier now that the FBI is investigating a private towing company that had close ties to the St. Louis Police Department.