Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office doesn’t properly track spending and revenue, audit says

The Controller’s Office audit spans Sheriff's Office recordkeeping from 2015-2020
Philadelphia City Hall.
Philadelphia City Hall. Photo credit Holli Stephens/KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart is blasting the Sheriff’s Office for failing to keep adequate financial records, and for spending money from mortgage and foreclosure sales on unapproved purchases.

"The Sheriff’s Office does not maintain a comprehensive accounting system, or general ledger, to track the overall balance of the accounts or document complete records of financial transactions," the report's executive summary said.

The report also states that the office doesn't have any recordkeeping of fees that they collect, and that the audit found that it was "unlikely" that the Sheriff's Office properly remits "all applicable" revenue collected to the city.

"The Sheriff’s Office is unable to accurately account for the fee revenue it collects, and the Office of the Director of Finance is unable to provide full oversight over financial activities of the Sheriff’s Office."

The findings are part of a performance audit that the Controller’s Office released Thursday. The audit covers the years from 2015 to 2020.

For most of that time, former Sheriff Jewell Williams was in charge, but the audit includes the first year of Sheriff Rochelle Bilal’s term.

Bilal’s spokesperson said the Sheriff had no immediate comment because she was still reviewing the report.

She said Bilal hadn’t received the report until it was released to the public, despite many back-and-forth conversations while the audit was being conducted.

You can read the full report below.

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