Approximately $96,000 accepted by the Washington County Clerk of Courts office was never deposited in a bank last year, according to an annual audit conducted by Washington County Controller Michael Namie.
State police are now investigating the matter at the request of the board of commissioners, said Chairman Larry Maggi, a former state trooper.
“As an independently elected office, the clerk of courts establishes its own policies and procedures as to how it accounts for the funds coming under its control,” Maggi said in a statement, noting that the board asked state police for a “full and complete criminal investigation of the matter.”
Namie, who is recovering from a broken foot, said the row office handled just over $4.2 million last year.
“Because of the inherent limitations in any system of internal accounting and administrative controls, errors or irregularities may nevertheless occur and not be detected,” Namie wrote as part of a 15-page report.
Clerk of courts is a filing office for criminal charges and case information forwarded from magisterial district judges to the Common Pleas Court level and a repository for miscellaneous matters.
It handles bail, court costs, fines, restitution, and a host of fees ranging from electronic home monitoring, the booking center and transcripts to substance abuse education.
Clerk of Courts Frank Scandale was not in his office Wednesday, and attempts to reach him by phone and email Wednesday morning did not result in an immediate response.
Scandale, of Canonsburg, an insurance broker, was elected to the row office in 2015. He was the sole Democrat to file as a candidate for Clerk of Courts earlier this year. Former Washington Mayor Brenda Davis, now a Republican, is running against him in the Nov. 5 general election.