Local News

Hoke County announces accounting review amid SBI investigation

Posted March 3
Updated 9:44 p.m. Monday

— Hoke County released a statement Friday night announcing an accounting review to take "immediate steps to strengthen its system of internal financial and accounting control" with help from the Cherry Bekaert accounting firm.

The comprehensive review falls at the same time of the County and State investigations into overtime payroll irregularities. A fired county employee was the whistle blower to the investigation. That employee has since been re-instated.

WRAL has learned the alleged payroll scheme involved at least two county employees working together to falsify time sheets "to gain extra pay for time that wasn't worked."

Last month, after the SBI stepped in, HR director, LaTonya Benjamin resigned and another employee with the Sheriff's department was fired.

The allegations and subsequent investigations come after the local government commission described internal financial control issues in Hoke County as serious.

When the comprehensive review is completed, the accounting firm plans to turn over its findings to the county, along with an action plan for change.

It is unclear when the county and state investigations into the payroll scandal will be completed.

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