Audit finds Foley municipal court deficient and owing the state over $200K

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FOLEY, MO (KTVI) – Leaders in Foley, MO say they have addressed the problems spelled out in an audit by the state.  Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway found the city over-collected more than $209,000 in traffic fines during 2014.

Current Mayor Keith Vertrees says the city has already begun paying the money to the Missouri Department of Revenue.  State law requires the money be distributed to county schools.   The mayor says the city is complying with all of Galloway’s recommendations.

The audit was part of the Municipal Court Initiative.  The idea is to expand the way courts are audited to include a closer at statistical information related to state laws.  Several area cities have already been audited.  Bella Villa, Ferguson and Pine Lawn are all currently being audited.

The cap for how much money a Missouri city can collect from traffic fines has changed.  Senate Bill 5 caps the traffic-fine revenue a St. Louis County municipality can collect at 12.5% of its overall revenue.  For other cities the cap is 20%.  Galloway says the city of Foley collected roughly 85% of its revenue from traffic fines.

The Mayor says his city can survive and comply with state law.  Some citizens fear what the loss of revenue will mean for the city.  The auditor was also critical of certain fines the city imposed.

You can read the full audit here.