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OLATHE, Kan. — Johnson County commissioners are responding after a FOX4 report exposed a large amount of taxpayer dollars went missing from the courthouse.

FOX4 is learning the situation wasn’t widely known to board commission members at all.

Wednesday, a court administrator acknowledged accounting irregularities were discovered some time ago, when illegal activity could not be ruled out, federal authorities were alerted.

“I was never briefed on embezzlement in district court funds. I do not know if other members have been or not. I will push for full disclosure of the details as they are given to me and demand that they not be hidden behind executive session privilege. Transparency in government is a must,” said 3rd District County Commissioner Charlotte O’Hara.

The unaccounted-for funds were briefly discussed during the Thursday morning Board of Commissioners meeting.

Johnson County Commissioner Chairman Ed Eilert distancing the board from the controversy, saying this is strictly a ‘district court’ matter.

“This is part of the district court operation and so, just note for the record, that any communication from that issue needs to come from the district court administrator. They have authority over their operations,” Eilert said.

Meanwhile, one day after the investigation was publicized, the county is making a big change in their auditing department.

In an added agenda item, the board appointed a new county auditor, Harry Heflin, effective immediately.
The former Johnson County auditor served since 2008.

Heflin has worked with the auditing department since 2015.

An inside source with knowledge of the missing funds investigation tells fox4 they warned for years about sloppy book-keeping and both state and county funds were possibly compromised.

A Johnson County courts spokesperson said because this is an ongoing matter, it is inappropriate to make further comment.

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