Criminal inquiry after court administrator misused funds - KCTV5

Criminal inquiry after court administrator allegedly misused funds

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A criminal inquiry has been launched after Jackson County officials said Tuesday that their former court administrator misused court funds.

Teresa York was placed on paid leave on June 4. After KCTV5 first broke news about the internal court investigation, York resigned as Jackson County's court administrator effective July 2.

"Ms. York violated court purchasing procedures regarding the handling and expenditure of court funds and usage of court purchasing cards," according to a statement from the court on behalf of Presiding Judge Charles E. Atwell. "The court has turned over to law information officials, information from its internal investigation regarding the misuse of court funds by Ms. York."

Jackson County court officials have been in touch with representatives for state court officials in Jefferson City and the office of Missouri auditor.

"The court depended upon Teresa York for many years to manage court functions and funds professionally and ethically, and we have been taken aback in the past few weeks to find that our trust was misplaced," Atwell said.

In a statement, court officials said they first learned in May about allegations that York had inappropriately spent court funds. Outside professionals, including a forensic accountant, was hired to conduct the internal review.

Atwell said the Jackson County Circuit Court is taking steps to strengthen "its internal management controls to insure that public funds are appropriately protected" going forward.

"The court, through the interim court administrator, has instituted immediate protections regarding all purchases, requisitions and court expenditures," according to Atwell's statement.

Because law enforcement officials are involved, court officials declined further comment.

To read previous coverage, click here and here.

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