Concerns raised by the public led to a review by the State Auditor’s Office that found some actions by the Cass County Treasurer that didn’t follow the rules.

Deputy State Auditor Andrew Nielsen says they found an issue with Treasurer Tracey Marshall’s use of credit cards. “Credit cards were being used for business that wasn’t county related, it was for outside entities. They were using it to make payments for an entity that the county treasurer was a treasurer for,” Nielsen explains.

Those purchases were made for the National Association of County Collectors, Treasurers and Finance Officers and the National Tax Lien Association.

Nielsen says the county was paid back for the charges.”The county did not end up paying the charges that belonged to the other entity,” Nielsen says, “but, number one, it was contrary to the county’s policy. The county’s policy was to use it only for the county’s expenses. And number two, it was just not a good idea to extend the credit of the county for another entity.”

Nielsen says other county resources were also used for the same group. He says they found there was an employee in the county treasurer’s office that was doing some administrative functions on county time for the other group. The review also found that the Executive Director of the Cass County Veterans Affairs Commission, Mitchell Holmes, used his county credit card for personal purchases and then paid the credit card company. Nielsen says that also is not allowed by county rules.

He says this case should be an example for other government entities. “I think it’s just kind of a wake up call. I think there’s probably other counties that have kind of similar situations, so I think it is a good thing to constantly be aware for public entities to be accountable, and also to be transparent,” Nielsen says.

Nielsen says they made several recommendations on how the Cass County Supervisors can tighten up internal controls over the use of county-issued credit cards.