The audit of former LaRue County Sheriff Russell McCoy for the year ending 2021 has been released by Kentucky’s Auditor Mike Harmon.

According to Harmon’s audit of McCoy’s 2021 financial statement, LaRue County Sheriff Russell McCoy incorrectly purchased three vehicles and did not ensure maximum spending amounts were set for deputies and assistants, State Auditor Mike Harmon reports.

Three vehicles, each worth over $30,000 and totaling $111,455, were purchased from an out-of-state vendor. A trade-in allowance of $3,500 was applied to one of the vehicles on a no-longer-needed sheriff’s vehicle.

“The vehicles were not advertised for bids by the sheriff or fiscal court, the state price contract vendor was not used, and the final agreed prices paid were higher than the state price contract. Further, the proper surplus procedures were not followed at the time,” the report said.

Provisions of the Kentucky Model Procurement Code adopted by The LaRue County Fiscal Court, along with the LaRue County Administrative Code, require contracts and purchases to be awarded by “competitive sealed bidding” and state-price contracts and vendors to be used whenever feasible.

Competitive bidding ensures equipment and services procured are the best price and by not following the Purchase Procedures and Procurement laws or the Model Procurement Code, the sheriff’s office may not have received the lowest or best value.

“At the time of purchase, we attempted to purchase vehicles on the state contract, but no vehicles were available for several months out due to the COVID pandemic,” McCoy said. “These vehicles were needed to replace vehicles that had developed issues due to the age and mileage and had to be replaced for safety issues.”

“We were able to find vehicles from another dealership that we could obtain in a short amount of time to replace the older vehicles. Therefore, for the safety of officers, the vehicles were purchased from another agency. All documents pertaining to conversations with the state contract holder and the dealership we purchased the new vehicles from were provided to the auditor.”

Secondly, the Order Setting Maximum Amount for Deputies and Assistants form, required by the Department for Local Government, was not completed for calendar year 2021. According to the report, by not ensuring the order was set, McCoy was not able “to determine the maximum amount he could spend out of the fee account for deputies, assistants and other employees.”

“This issue was due to an oversight but has been corrected,” McCoy said.

In its entirety, the state-law-required report determined that the 2021 Financial Statement of McCoy presents fairly in conformity with the regulatory basis of accounting, an acceptable reporting method.

The audit recap can be found in today’s edition on page A8 and the full report found on the auditor’s website.