Hillsborough Clerk of Court Office audit shows major problems still exist

11:35 PM, Nov 18, 2011   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- A scathing audit was released Friday on the Hillsborough Clerk of Court Traffic Division noting several problems.

Earlier this year, employees were fired after being involved in a traffic fixing scheme and the audit shows there are still major problems. 

The audit looked at 18 different areas and found problems in each. In addition to personnel problems, the audit found problems with the computer system the Clerk's Office uses.

As we first reported earlier this year, the Clerk of Court computer system is a mess, which is why Clerk Pat Frank is dumping the current $3.5 million system which has been online for a year for a new system.

We asked Frank in June if she anticipated the multimillion-dollar computer system would last more than 3 years when she put it online and Frank said no, and that there have been some problems in the system.

There were also failures in Frank's office and she says that was what prompted her call for the audit.

According to auditor Dan Pohto, monitoring controls are weak; driver license reinstatements are not properly monitored; there is an increased fraud risk in traffic citation process; the internet site has misleading payment information; delinquent citations fees have not been turned over to collection agencies; unpaid citations were purged and revenues were lost through dismissed court costs and fines.

Frank told us late Friday afternoon that she welcomed the audit and even though it found several problems she believes it is positive because will make the office better.

However, problems are likely to continue for at least another year because the new computer system won't be installed until the fall of 2012.

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