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Hockley commissioners approve exit audit for sheriff’s department

The Hockley County commissioners met Tuesday morning to go over findings from an exit audit conducted by the county at the Hockley County Sheriff’s Department.
The objective of the audit was to make sure “all monies and assets to which the county is legally entitled were properly collected, received and reported.”
According to the audit report, a 2014 Chapter 59 asset forfeiture report of property seized and forfeited reported a seized travel trailer that is involved in an open case with the 286th District Court. The trailer in question was “allegedly not on county property or available for inspection.”
Also in the report, R.C. Cheek, former Hockley County Sheriff, said the trailer was at Bush’s Wrecker’s yard in “storage.”
The circumstances surrounding the transfer of property are currently under investigation by the District Attorney’s office.
Nicole Griffin with the Hockley County’s DA office said the trailer was seized in 2014 and the case involving the trailer is still open and pending.
“The case involving the trailer is going to remain open until the ownership of the trailer is determined,” Griffin said.
The commissioners discussed why the trailer had been moved from county property initially.
“According to information we were given, it at some point came into Bush’s possession,” said Linda Barnett, county auditor. “Whether it is actually located there, we don’t know because he wouldn’t let us check.”
Barnett said in 2014, Cheek followed the proper proceedings to record the seizure of the trailer. In 2015, the trailer “was marked through on his papers.”
Other findings included an $80 shortage in the petty cash fund. According to the auditor’s report, the clerk failed to request reimbursement for a $50 voucher on October 12 from a transport and a voucher reimbursement of $30 was requested by the clerk but is awaiting signatures for completion of the request on December 14. Corrections were completed on December 26 with reimbursement requests.
Inmate commissary accounts were tested. Timely deposits from the testing showed to be made accordingly. 
The evidence vault was inspected and testing of evidence tags showed that all lockers were properly identified. However, the full audit of the evidence room has yet to be completed.

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