Judge Lacy: $3M Missing From Bowie County

Bowie County TexasToday in Bowie County Commissioners Court, Judge Sterling Lacy showed the Court that there should be $4.6 million available in the general fund, not $1.6 million, as reported.

Lacy showed two documents – one, the county’s expenses as of this morning (which reflects today’s Accounts Payable, which has already been entered) and the county’s revenues as of Friday

Revenue $20,177,135.83
Expenses -$15,535,377.34
Difference $4,641,758.49

First, Lacy congratulated the Court and the county employees for doing an outstanding job of keeping under budget. Then he stressed that, by law, there could be no expenses paid from the revenue that were not already in the budget. Therefore, the missing $3 million couldn’t have been spent, or moved to another account. “Where is it?” he asked.

There was quite a bit of back-and-forth between Lacy, the Commissioners, and the county auditor, with remarks about where it could be, and even if someone took it. Lacy emphasized that he didn’t think anyone took it, but that it was certainly missing from the reports. Commissioner Kelly Blackburn said he wasn’t sure the money was missing, but “we’re sure missing something here.”

County Auditor William Tye remarked that his figures were correct, and that if they wanted to find out where the money is, they should talk to the County Treasurer, Donna Burns. Burns had taken the day off, and wasn’t available. Since it was already well past noon, the Court agreed to reconvene in special session Friday afternoon. I attempted to contact Mrs. Burns, but haven’t heard back from her yet.

Visiting the Courthouse this afternoon, I obtained from Judge Lacy’s office a document titled “Estimated Cash Flow Oct 13 thru Mar 14.” Here are the figures:

Month Revenue Expenses Official Check Register
October 2013 $2,969,174.14 $1,419,703.91 $2,351,832.28
November 2013 $6,244,821.91 $1,940,592.21 $2,894,612.31
December 2013 $2,557,310.80 $2,670,181.70 $3,360,870.87
January 2014 $3,105,233.78 $2,176,630.99 $3,083,399.79
February 2014 $2,906,048.02 $2,578,551.74 $2,665,210.25
March 2014 $1,270,382.93 $2,157,628.59 $3,089,987.29

Total revenue is $19,052,971.58, total expenses are $12,943,289.14, leaving a positive balance of $6,109,682.44. The check register shows only $3,089,987.29, leaving $3,019,695.15 unaccounted for.

***UPDATE***
The video is available here: video

0 thoughts on “Judge Lacy: $3M Missing From Bowie County

  1. I think there’s a fox in the henhouse… Congrats to Judge Lacy for exposing this. He is obviously doing his job as he was elected to do. Unfortunately, we have 3 Bowie County Commissioners from Precincts 1,2 and 3 who are more concerned about what reading material is lying around the Judge’s office than where 3 million of our tax dollars have disappeared to. I hope all of you remember this when we vote for County Judge November the 4th. I wonder if this has any connection to James Carlow, the former Bowie County Judge who was a poor dairy farmer when first elected County Judge 28 years ago and is now a multi-millionaire many times over. James Carlow is the former Bowie County Judge/law breaker the aforementioned County Commissioners support. As I predicted months ago, it’s going to be an interesting year for Bowie County. From the Once Great Republic of Texas, Jorge Washington.

  2. Our poor ignorant Mr. Lacy is probably fixing to get a lesson in basic accounting and cash basis vs accrual basis accounting. He thinks he can take revenue minus expense and that should equal whats in the bank.

    Asset purchases, which come out of the bank account, are not booked as an expense. Principal payments on notes, which come out of the bank account, are not expenses. There are so many reasons why Revenue minus Expense don’t equal whats in the bank. Mr. Lacy, ask your county auditor to prepare a Statement of Cash Flows to find the “missing” money WHICH IS MOST LIKELY NOT MISSING.

  3. We will see won’t we. Time will tell. I get such a kick out of people who think they are so smart and big headed. They always underestimate their opponents because they think they are smarter than everyone else. If the shoe fits, wear it mr. dike.

  4. If money is “missing” as Judge Lacy claimed in Tuesday’s commissioners court, why is he JUST NOW pointing it out? As chief budget officer, shouldn’t he have known this all along, if he is doing the job Bowie County voters hired him to do? So he’s either withholding information or NOT doing his job. Which is it, Mr. Lacy?

  5. hang on mr Washington. The fact that Mr. Dike knows something you don’t doesn’t make him wrong. It’s still a possibility that he’s right. As you said, time will tell. No reason to go negative and personal…

  6. Jorge we were all told where to find the money! County Auditor William Tye remarked that his figures were correct, and that if they wanted to find out where the money is, they should talk to the County Treasurer, Donna Burns

  7. Mister Dike,

    I don’t know who you are and I don’t know why you have such a problem with Judge Lacy, but you’re overlooking a crucial element of the story. In the fifth (5th) paragraph it clearly states, “County Auditor William Tye remarked that his figures were correct”. The county auditor is already involved. I’m quite sure he’s familiar with accounting practices you mention and would have brought them up if the answer was that simple.

    Jumping to conclusions without first having all the evidence is never a good idea.

  8. Months ago as reported here on fourstatesnews the Auditor said “We are not broke” then he told the Gazette we are broke, then we went back to not broke, we get this over and over with a different answer every time?? It appears money is being shuffled around to give false appearances to the Judge and the Auditor, and taxpayers.

  9. Our poor ignorant Mr. Lacy is probably fixing to get a lesson in basic accounting and cash basis vs accrual basis accounting. He thinks he can take revenue minus expense and that should equal whats in the bank.

    Asset purchases, which come out of the bank account, are not booked as an expense. Principal payments on notes, which come out of the bank account, are not expenses. There are so many reasons why Revenue minus Expense don’t equal whats in the bank. Mr. Lacy, ask your county auditor to prepare a Statement of Cash Flows to find the “missing” money WHICH IS MOST LIKELY NOT MISSING

  10. If money is “missing” as Judge Lacy claimed in Tuesday’s commissioners court, why is he JUST NOW pointing it out? As chief budget officer, shouldn’t he have known this all along, if he is doing the job Bowie County voters hired him to do? So he’s either withholding information or NOT doing his job. Which is it, Mr. Lacy

  11. Mr. Lacy I think I found the missing money! Read on…

    My Income Statement Says I Made a Profit But My Bank Account is Empty. Where’d it go?

    The answer to this will be a little bit different depending on whether your books are being kept on an accrual basis or a cash basis. For this example we will assume you are keeping your books on a cash basis. Simply put, cash basis accounting works like this: income is recognized when the cash comes in and expenses are recorded when they are paid. So, theoretically, the final balance in your checkbook at the end of the year would be the amount of profit you made for the year. So, where did the money go if your profit is greater than your bank balance?

    The primary culprit for creating this type of situation is the purchase of assets. Assets are items which are not consumed during one business year but have an extended life, such as vehicles, equipment, office furniture, computers and real estate. Even if you paid cash for these items, you normally would not add the full value of large asset purchases to your expense column. Instead you would ‘depreciate’ these items over the years of their expected life, deducting a portion of their full value each year.

    In essence, what has happened is that you have taken some of your profits from the year and purchased assets with those profits. This situation demonstrates the importance of a cash flow report in addition to your standard financial statements. A cash flow analysis will be able to show you these types of draws on your profit during the year

  12. In all fairness you could also ask why the other County Commissioners DIDN’T point this out at all? They are just as responsible to the voters as Lacy.

    Again, Mister Dike, who are you and why do you such a low opinion of Judge Lacy? What’s the problem between you two?

  13. Mr. Dyke,
    I am not an accountant nor do I know if your comments are valid or not (we will hopefully know very soon) – but I am curious as to why the auditor does not know the information you seem perfectly confident of, nor any of the other commissioners, and as to why the auditor would simply say go see Donna Burns. Can you help me out on this one? If everyone is as ignorant as you seem to think – why are you only castigating Judge Lacy?

  14. It seems Ms Burns the County treasurer was missing as well as the 3 million dollars. LOL Go figure.

  15. You seem to forget Mr. Dike that BY LAW, every last dollar must be spent as allocated by the court. Judge Lacy is simply pointing this out. The way I read it is, Ms. Burns needs to answer the question as to why the law was not obeyed and tell us where that 3 million dollars went. She is the one the law will be going after 1st unless she has some very good answers. It will be an interesting year in Bowie County.

  16. I just think it’s sad that a person is being implicated for embezzlement before an investigation has even been called for. If someone is suspected of absconding the money, then launch an investigation and get the results before you imply that they have done so. It tarnishes a reputation whether it is true or not. Obviously, the right hand of the county does not know what the left hand is doing, and that’s probably the majority of our problems. I don’t know Ms. Burns on a personal level, but I know how it feels for someone to imply that you have done wrong when you haven’t, and that feeling does not go away. Wait for the results before throwing stones.

  17. Texas
    Local Government Code
    Title 4. Finances
    Subtitle B. County Finances
    Chapter 113. Management of County Money
    Subchapter A. General Provisions
    Sec. 113.043. COUNTERSIGNATURE BY COUNTY AUDITOR
    In a county with a county auditor, the county treasurer and the county depository may not pay a check or order for payment unless it is countersigned by the county auditor to validate it as proper and budgeted item of expenditure. This section does not apply to a check for jury service or for restitution collected on behalf of an individual as authorized by law.

    Acts 1987, 70th Leg., ch 149., Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1987.
    Amended by:
    Acts 2011, 82nd Leg., R.S., Ch. 606 (S.B. 373), Sec. 113, eff. September 1, 2011.

  18. I didn’t see that anyone was playing the blame game, or implicating anyone, rather they were “ALL” told in a matter of fact manner by the Auditor where to look for the money in question.

    County Auditor William Tye remarked that his figures were correct, and that if they wanted to find out where the money is, they should talk to the County Treasurer, Donna Burns.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.