More missing money

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County employee payroll deduction not forwarded to IRS

By Jessica Singleton

The Owen County Fiscal Court is searching for over $600 that has apparently disappeared.

At the December meeting, it was revealed that $629.28 was withheld from a county employee’s paycheck for tax purposes. However, the money never made it to the IRS.

The magistrates voted to pay  the employee’s missing taxes as well as all interest and penalties due to the IRS. The court also voted to reimburse the same employee for $119.41 in overpayment of taxes.

However, the main question is still unanswered. Where did the money go?

Owen County Treasurer Gayla Lewis said she had unsuccessfully searched for the funds. It is believed that the fund mismanagement happened while Renaee Gaines was deputy judge-executive and payroll officer. As of press time, there is no proof linking Gaines to the missing funds.

Owen County Attorney Charles Carter said he could not bring this case into the courtroom until it is discovered where the money went and he has proof of who is responsible.

It was also announced the court owes $10,000 in late fees for payroll taxes. The payroll taxes were paid, but not on time.

Owen County Judge-Executive Billy O’Bainion said the county is working with the IRS to get the late fees waived. The court decided to delay paying the penalty until the negations are complete.

In other fiscal court news:

• The 2009 budget for the Owen County Clerk’s office was approved.

• Funds were approved to purchase radio equipment for New Liberty and Monterey Fire Departments.

• Kenneth Wayne Ball and Brian Perry were added to the part-time EMT Owen County Life Squad.