06/25/17 — Wayne County Clerk of Courts unblemished after state audit

View Archive

Wayne County Clerk of Courts unblemished after state audit

By John Joyce
Published in News on June 25, 2017 1:45 AM

Full Size


Wayne County Clerk of Court Pam Minshew, bottom right, assembles her staff on the stairs of the Wayne County Courthouse Friday morning after treating them to a celebration in recognition of the office getting a clean audit from the North Carolina Office of the State Auditor. The inspection covered all facets of the clerk's office duties and no discrepancies were uncovered, according to the audit.

No discrepancies were found during an unprompted state audit of the Wayne County Clerk of Court's office conducted by the N.C. Office of the State Auditor.

The clerk's office took in more than $8.2 million in cash in various fines, fees and court costs, according to the audit report published this week.

Also collected were more than $226,000 in estate fees and more than $1.2 million in bond forfeitures were set aside.

Wayne County Clerk of Court Pam Minshew and her staff of 35 deputy and assistant clerks celebrated the results Friday morning with a small office party.

"Ladies, I am sure you all have heard because you heard me yelling and screaming and so being excited -- we got a clean audit, and I want to thank all of you," she said.

Minshew told her staff the office would not have gotten the clean audit without all of them working so hard.

"Over the years, we have been trained really well, and we just try to keep up with all of the new laws as they come in," she said.

The recent, almost week-long audit covered the period between July 2016 and February 2017. It is Mrs. Minshew's second since taking office in 2010.

The first audit, in September 2012, culminated in the same clean bill of fiscal health.

"They come in, and they audit all my filings, they audit all of the money that comes in and make sure it gets paid right," Mrs. Minshew said. "They look at everything.

"But this time, the main thing they focused on this time were estates big time, the cash flow, bond forfeitures. You just never know what they are going to look at."

The focus is different each time an audit is conducted, she said.

Each county clerk's office is inspected every four years or so, she said.

The day-to-day operation of the clerk's office is a vast undertaking, from collecting fines, fees and court costs associated with district and superior court rulings, to monitoring estates after a person is deceased and ensuring all of the associated filing that goes on adheres to legally mandated schedules.

"It is a lot,"Minshew said.

But the credit, she insisted, goes beyond her leadership alone. The success of the clerk's office is dependent on each clerk processing each transaction correctly, the bookkeepers balancing the sheets, and making sure records, evidence and all other notices and information are collected and stored properly and on time.

"We are trained really well, and we know that they are going to come in and check us every so many years," she said. "So we just try to make sure we do everything right.

"We have had a few clerks' office call and ask us how did we get a clean audit."

While she is reluctant to say yet whether she is inclined to run again -- Minshew has 38 years invested in the office she has been charged with running for the past seven years -- two successful audits under her belt won't hurt her chances for re-election.

For now, she said she is content knowing that she and her "hardworking staff" are doing the job they are tasked with, and she hopes to continue doing so.

"We know we are doing things right, and I hope we can keep up the good work."

-- Steve Herring contributed to this report