Audit of Franklin Superior Court finds money management issues

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – An audit of the Franklin Superior Court uncovered some money management issues including the improper collection of probation fees.

The report by State Auditor Suzanne Bump found that the court’s Probation Office improperly waived some monthly supervision fees in exchange for community service. Bump said the decision whether to pay the fees was left up to the probation officers and offenders, rather than the judge as the statue requires.  She also said that the probation officers did not have a consistent method of tracking the amounts of service performed.

The audit also found that the court did not do mandated updates on people who receive public legal services, nor give mandated notification to other state agencies when a person was overdue on court ordered legal counsel fees.

The audit did find some improvements at Franklin Superior Court since its last review in 2006. Bump said the court developed an internal control plan and that the Probation Office improved its cash handling policies.

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