MO Public Administrator found misusing funds, resigns from office

Published: Mar. 23, 2016 at 4:22 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2016 at 4:54 PM CDT
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We now have new details following the resignation of Dunklin County Public Administrator Shawnee Trowbridge.

Last week, auditors discovered fraud totaling $800 during a regular county audit, but that number could grow.

The audit found issues over the past three years with some of the purchases and receipts that the Dunklin County Public Administrator made and a lack of documentation to support some purchases.

Documents show Trowbridge bought Walmart gift cards, gas, pet supplies and made other purchases in Florida while on vacation with money belonging to four of her clients.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway says Trowbridge failed to have any supporting documentation for some disbursements from ward bank accounts.

In a three-year period, she issued 10 checks totaling $2,076 to Walmart from ward accounts but did not retain documentation to support the payments.

"What is particularly upsetting about this instance is that Mrs. Trowbridge took advantage of her power and used assets and funds that were for Missourians that had no one else to turn to and she was responsible for managing those finances," she said.

Trowbridge has already repaid the $800.

Galloway says Trowbridge did not accurately report wards' assets on Medicaid eligibility review forms.

On four of the 13 forms reviewed, auditors identified differences between the asset balances reported on the forms and the actual assets available.

Trowbridge was appointed Dunklin County Public Administrator in January 2007 and was elected to the position in November 2008 and November 2012.

Dunklin County will get a new public administrator before January 1.

The investigation has been handed over to the Missouri Attorney General's office due to a conflict of interest.