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Audit of tow fund is underway

By Matt Mencarini

Sauk Valley Media

The on-site portion of the Ogle County administrative tow fund’s forensic audit started last week, county board chairman Kim Gouker said.

Sikich, a Naperville-based accounting firm, has been reviewing documents.

A full review could take a “few weeks” to complete, depending on what is found, Gouker, Byron, said.

The tow fund, which started in October 2011 under the full control of the Ogle County Sheriff’s Department, has since been transferred to the Ogle County treasurer’s office.

In December, Sauk Valley Media reported that Sheriff Michael Harn had used the tow fund, which had collected $210,400 between October 2011 and November 2013, to pay for repairs to department vehicles, a tent at the Ogle County Fair, and a $4,000 management fee for the department’s Facebook page, among other expenses.

In April, the Ogle County Board authorized Gouker to proceed to a forensic audit, which is something the chairman and board had opposed in the previous months.

Also in April, the county board restricted what the fund could be used for and its sources of revenue. It also transferred control of the fund to the county treasurer.

Harn was defeated by Rochelle police officer Brian VanVickle in his bid for a second term in the three-way race during the March 18 Republican primary. He steps down at the end of November.

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