Crimestoppers chapter turns itself around

An investigation conducted by the Lakeland Ledger last year uncovered numerous financial discrepancies within Florida-based Heartland Crimestoppers, including duplicate payments, nepotism, a disregard of state bidding rules, insufficient oversight and irregular accounts receivable practices.

The Attorney General's (AG's) Office subsequently launched its own investigation, citing a number of errors within the organization. However, a recently released follow-up report by the Florida Office of the Inspector General revealed that the organization's board was able to correct every error named by the AG over the past six months, according to the Ledger.

Changes included stricter adherence to state purchasing and bidding laws, the severance of inappropriate contractual and business relationships, improved documentation for expenditures, and the separation of accounting duties to safeguard against mismanagement and embezzlement.

"We're doing what the organization should have been doing from the get-go," said Lakeland city commissioner Justin Troller, as quoted by the news source. "We have the people in the right spots, and we're not rubber stampers. I'm really pleased to be a part of this board."

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