State Auditor Reports: Knox Prosecutor’s Office Broke State Law, Missing Cash, Inadequate Record Keeping

The State Auditor, Nicole Galloway, has issued a review of the handling of monies collected by the Knox County Prosecutor’s Office from January of 2013 through August of 2014. According to the report, the review was initiated by former Knox County Prosecutor David Brown after he discovered monies had been misappropriated from a bank account for the private law office operated by himself and the then Assistant Prosecutor Jo Fortney.

According to the report, receipts, account activity and bank statements were researched and individual interviews were conducted by representatives of the State Auditor’s Office. What they found included violations of State Law, missing cash, and poor and sometimes nonexistent record keeping. The report also points to two previous reports issued by the State Auditor’s Office, one audit conducted for a two-year period, January of 2010 through December of 2011, and a follow up report to that audit where discrepancies were found but not fixed.

In short, it’s a big mess. And now it’s in the hands of the Knox County Commissioners. The Commissioners will ultimately be tasked with deciding what to do next, which includes whether to request a criminal investigation into the matter of the missing money or not.

“We’re in the process of reviewing the audit findings and will be meeting with the Prosecutor to discuss further action,” said Knox County Presiding Commissioner Evan Glasgow.

“This review was requested by our office. We requested it to show the public we are not being deceptive and to maintain transparency,” said current Knox County Prosecutor Jo Fortney. “We were not sure if there was (money missing) or not. We wanted an independent review so it did not look as if were hiding anything. We wanted to be transparent and decided, with the Commissioners, that the Auditor’s office was the way to go.”

During the time frame for which the review was conducted David Brown was the Knox County Prosecutor and responsible for all aspects of the office and Jo Fortney was the Assistant Prosecutor. Since January 1, 2015, those rolls have reversed. Jo Fortney holds the office of Knox County Prosecutor. Currently, Brown performs the duties of the Assistant Knox County Prosecutor. We were unable to reach him for comment on this story.

More information will be released in the coming May 27, 2015, edition of The Edina Sentinel.

Click the following link to read the review: Knox County Prosecutors Office Auditors Report