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Fernandina Beach News Leader

County Audit finally complete
By Benjamin Price, News-Leader

Following the discovery of a million-dollar embezzlement scheme and a subsequent state law enforcement investigation, Nassau County's 2003-4 audit is finally complete.

The auditing firm Farmand, Farmand & Farmand presented the audit to the Nassau County Commission at a special meeting Friday, several months after it would normally have been due.

The audit was interrupted for months while state law enforcement investigated the theft by former clerk's office employee Julie Mixon.

Mixon confessed to stealing money in the clerk's office, now believed to have totaled more than $1 million.

A separate auditing firm that specializes in embezzlement and theft is continuing its investigation.

Farmand has performed the annual countywide audit for many years, during at least seven of which Mixon was stealing from the clerk's office.

During the presentation to

the commission, A.B. Farmand attempted to defend his firm's auditing procedures, which he stressed were in accordance

with general accounting principals.

The audits investigate samples of transactions in each department and are not charged with examining every individual receipt or statement, he explained.

"There are many transactions handled by various people throughout the year," Farmand said. "Unfortunately, audits do not test every transaction, audits only test samples."

Farmand was quickly cut off by County Attorney Mike Mullin and Chair Ansley Acree, who said his explanations were not germane to Friday's presentation.

Acree said that is a discussion the county will have with the auditors when contracts are renewed later this month.

Farmand has a contract to perform the countywide audit through the fiscal year 2004-5 audit, which is scheduled to be presented by March 31, 2006.





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