City Hall sends word this morning that City Auditor Craig Kinton's look-see into how the Dallas Police Department handles its cash turned up a crime: "Approximately $17,000 was misappropriated by a DPD employee between Fiscal Year (FY) 2007 and FY 2008." The report doesn't name names, but as Rudy Bush points out this morning, last May 32-year-old Ruby Rodriguez, a civilian employee in DPD, was indicted for swiping $17,506.
So how did he do it? Says the audit, money management at DPD HQ tends to be a bit of a mess, as seized dough -- from narcotics raids, vice-squad busts and the auto-theft unit, for starters -- isn't properly "segregated." That, and the fact the spreadsheet keeping track of all the incoming funds isn't password-protected (meaning anyone can get in and tinker with the figures), makes it easy to pocket the scratch.
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Despite Kinton's patting the department on the back for fixing some issues since its last cash-management audit in '05, there are myriad other issues as well, chief among them: Too many people have too much access to the cash vault, which is awful easy to get into.