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County audit wrapping up

A long-awaited performance audit of Lawrence County government finances is possibly a few weeks away, according to a spokesman for the office of Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor.

Steve Faulkner said Monday employees at the auditor’s office are in the last stages of completing their review of county government practices, expenditures and resources.

Their findings will first be presented privately to the Lawrence County Commission, which then has two weeks to respond. Then, the audit will be made public and will be available on the auditor’s office Web site.

“There will be an exit, or post audit conference, whichever you prefer, to go over the findings we’ve identified over the course of the audit and offer the officeholders a chance to respond before the audit release date,” Faulkner said.

As for the audit itself, he said, “We give tips on how to improve efficiency and cut costs and improve accountability to the taxpayers.”

Faulkner called the review of county government “thorough” and said right now the review is more than 100 pages.

Faulkner said while he understands Lawrence Countians may be interested in what it has to say, such audits take time.

The Lawrence County Commission formally requested the performance audit last year after backing off a plan to put an operating levy before county voters. The county commission has faced near-stagnant resources over the years while battling steady increases in such areas as the cost of housing jail inmates, health insurance and worker’s compensation.