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Audit Finds Financial Lapses In Oklahoma Sheriff's Office

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An Oklahoma audit has found financial mismanagement within a central county sheriff's office, causing over-expenditure of public funds and noncompliance with state law.

The audit conducted from July 2011 to June 2016 says the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office's shortfalls are due to "its management, operation, record keeping and accounting systems."

Auditors say the Sheriff Joe Lester requested more funding from the Cleveland County Budget Board in March, but failed to bill the Oklahoma Department of Corrections from September 2016 to March 2017 for housing state prisoners.

Lester sued the county later that month, alleging the board of commissioners and budget board failed to fund the county jail as required by the law.

The auditor's office has made recommendations, but hasn't filed criminal charges or offered legal opinions, pending the lawsuit.

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