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March 31
​Wake County Works with SBI to Investigate Register of Deeds Office

Wake County Manager Jim Hartmann and Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman held a news conference Friday, March 31, to announce that the State Bureau of Investigation is looking into irregularities in accounting practices at the Wake County Register of Deeds Office in Raleigh.

Registry employees first discovered discrepancies in the cash receipts in early January while making improvements related to how fees collected in the office are handled. While conducting analysis on that process, they realized that money appeared to be unaccounted for or missing. They shared these concerns with county staff, who immediately brought them to Hartmann’s attention.

“It’s our duty to ensure that our government meets the highest standards and best serves the taxpayers,” said Hartmann. “This is clearly a case that we needed to thoroughly investigate.”

After discussing the situation with Freeman, Hartmann decided to bring in the county’s internal auditors to validate what was occurring in the office. Based on the information they gathered, Freeman signed a formal letter today, asking the SBI to conduct an investigation.

“The Register of Deeds and county officials recognize that they are entrusted by the public with public funds,” said Freeman. “We find that it’s appropriate given the irregularities identified in the audit to do a thorough investigation of this matter. It’s our intent to be as transparent as possible in this process.”

Since the accounting concerns were uncovered, the county has made improvements to the way money is handled, recorded and reconciled daily within the registry. There are now more checks and balances in place, and employees are using currency counting equipment to enhance the accuracy and timeliness of counting money.

Findings will be provided to the public after the conclusion of the SBI investigation.





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