By Joe Biesk
The Associated Press
FRANKFORT - Two Department of Corrections employees have resigned after state officials found about $480,000 in uncashed checks stashed in one of the workers' desk drawers, Lt. Gov. Steve Pence said Friday.
During four years, an employee at Kentucky Correctional Industries failed to deposit about 250 checks, Pence said. They were found during a routine investigation, Pence said.
"Clearly this was money that should have been deposited," Pence said. "We obviously had a lack of control and a lack of supervision."
State officials were trying to find a particular check when they discovered the uncashed ones last week, Pence said. Some dated to 2000, and at least one was for more than $40,000, he said.
Officials also found letters from some of the check-writers inquiring about their checks, he said.
So far, officials have deposited about $300,000 into state accounts. However, some had expired and the state is seeking to recoup that money, Pence said.
It's possible the state may not be able to retrieve all the money, he said. Some businesses may have gone out of business, while other amounts may not be worth collecting, Pence said.
"We hope to get all of the taxpayers' money back," he said.
The employees' names were not disclosed.
The employee and the director of the employee's department have both resigned, Pence said. A third employee has been reassigned, he said.
State officials have referred the matter to the Kentucky State Police for further investigation. Criminal charges have not been filed.
Gov. Ernie Fletcher said he thought the matter was "probably more a case of neglect."
Pence, who is secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet, also asked the state auditor on Thursday to review Kentucky Correctional Industries' business procedures.
State Auditor Crit Luallen issued a statement saying her office would conduct a "full financial audit" of KCI.
"We will not only review specific past practices, but will be giving our advice on controls and procedures," Luallen said in the release.
State inmates work through KCI to make and sell products and services.
Some areas brace, others aren't bugged by cicadas
Downtown festivities won't be deterred
Owners of young trees rush to purchase mesh
Hey, Carl! Got any Reds tickets?
Tot Lot arrests now at four
One-hued wonder is 1 year old today
IN THE TRISTATE
Two suffer minor injuries in boat crash on Ohio River
Clever set design turns stage 'Into the Woods'
Woman shot, boyfriend sought
Lot sizes to limit 'teardowns'
Finding awaited on CPS contract
Campaign censure tabled
Badge passes, father to son
Hamilton home burns
Two teens ill after tattoos
Exchange mercury thermometer
Deaths of former students unsettling at Lemon-Monroe
'Legacy of love' honored
Norwood likely to ask for tax increase
Ohio State trustees increase tuition 13.4%, citing state cuts
Toledo priest denies murdering nun in 1980
Counties get electronic vote OK
Agencies seek $23M tax hike
Bill would ban military-style weapons
Public Safety briefs
Crowley: Clooney leads race so far - in fund-raising
Churches celebrate new homes
Singer releases inaugural album
Sr. Mary Berenice Byron served college library
Mary Cunnick, 84, teacher at Withrow
State worker didn't bother to process checks for $480K
Pence tells Fletcher foes to 'get on board'
Guide shows area at its best
Ludlow plea-bargain case over
Did you witness Norwood UFO?
Ky. News briefs