Mt. Vernon Register-News

January 16, 2014

Airport receives clean audit

By RICK HAYES rick.hayes@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — An audit for the fiscal year ending on April 30 showed no misappropriations of funds at the Mt. Vernon Airport.

Richard David Kieffer, a certified public accountant from Olney, presented the annual audit to the Airport Authority on Tuesday night, and made that revelation.

Airport officials were concerned with the audit’s findings, following the resignation in February of former administrative assistant Mary Barnett-Johnson. Barnett-Johnson pleaded guilty earlier this year to the theft of government funds in the form of Social Security benefits from her deceased mother. Barnett-Johnson reportedly received $85,353 in Social Security payments from August 2003 through September 2011. Barnett’s mother died in 2003. Barnett was employed by the airport just shy of six years.

Airport Manager Chris Collins said, “This audit is significant to me because of what happened with our previous administrative assistant that year.” He asked Kieffer if there were any findings of misappropriated funds.

“We’re always looking for anything that is considered an impropriety or fraud. There were some deposits that were over a month old before they actually got taken to the bank. We know by tracking that though they eventually made it to the bank,” Kieffer said. “I didn’t see anything that would lead me to go forward to Chris or board members about improprieties.”

Collins told the board he had found some questionable charges on the airport’s credit card account shortly after Barnett-Johnson’s resignation. Collins approached Barnett-Johnson personally about those charges and learned she had used the credit card for rental cars and the charges had been paid back. Collins confirmed through bookkeeping procedures the money had indeed been paid back to the Authority.

“For me this is closure for a very difficult period.

I’m glad to get it behind us,” Collins said.

During his report, Kieffer said the general operating fund has an excess of $31,351, or revenue over expenditures. He also reported the accounts receivables balance of $8,917 has decreased over year ago figures.

The cash in the governmental activities fund had a balance of $425,123 — a decrease of $27,860 from last year; and the airport had capital assets of $8 million, a decrease of about $509,000 from last year.

“Our total assets went down by about $513,000, but a big portion of that was from depreciation of assets we bought in prior years,” Kieffer said. “That’s not a bad thing. We had capitalized these assets and it shows, and if you look at last year, we’ve added over $1 million in assets but we’re depreciating these now.”

He added, “We knocked $180,000 off our general obligation bonds and our liabilities from accounts payable — what we owe other people — dropped by $20,000 to $2,336. That’s quite an accomplishment. Probably where part of that $27,000 decrease in cash probably went to liabilities that were on the books this time last year,” Kieffer said, adding, “Our cash flow without depreciation is not too bad.”