Bell sheriff exceeds budget after increased activity

Published 1:57 pm Monday, October 30, 2017

Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon released the audit of the 2016 financial statement of Bell County Sheriff Mitch Williams. The audit was clean with the exception of one comment by the auditor. According to the report, the Bell County Sheriff overspent the amount fixed by the fiscal court for his official expenses.

“The sheriff did not properly monitor his budget to actual amounts,” the report states. “As a result, the sheriff had overspent his budget as of year-end.”

Williams explained in his response that there was an increase in activity that increased the cost to operate.

Email newsletter signup

“During the 2016 fiscal year, the amount of activity for the sheriff’s office increased by 58.5 percent, which naturally incurred a higher cost to operate and maintain daily functions within the sheriff’s office,” said Williams. “Changes have been made that will hopefully balance out the cost of operation as we adjust to the increase in activity.”

The auditor’s office recommended the sheriff ensure that official expenses are within the amount fixed by the fiscal court, monitor his budget, and have budget amendments approved by the fiscal court by year-end.

The auditor states the sheriff’s financial statement is fairly presented in conformity with the regulatory basis of accounting.

The sheriff’s responsibilities include collecting property taxes, providing law enforcement and performing services for the county fiscal court and courts of justice. The sheriff’s office is funded through statutory commissions and fees collected in conjunction with these duties.