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Nebraska State Auditor Charlie Janssen released an audit this week of the Saline County Court that showed problems that allowed for alleged fraud. 

In August, Assistant County Court Clerk Jodi Rezabek, 42, was arrested and charged with theft by unlawful taking, a Class III felony. A pretrial hearing is set for Dec. 8 in Gage County District Court. 

Two employees from the auditor's office and an investigator from the Nebraska Attorney General's office questioned Rezabek on Aug. 13 about a suspected fraudulent check written in the amount of $15,500.

The audit showed a copy of a check written to Rezabek on May 19 from the Saline County Court in that amount. 

The auditors believe Rezabek wrote the check to pay off a contractor who had performed work at her residence. 

The irregularities in the court's account were discovered by auditors in June, and they proceeded to investigate the discrepancies in the bank balances.

The auditor believes Rezabek used the signature stamp of the clerk magistrate to sign the check.

A check of Rezabek's personal bank statement showed a deposit for the amount of the check on May 20, and a cashier's check written to the contractor for $14,806. 

In addition to the check, auditors found Rezabek had drawn a $62,529 cashier's check from the account on May 22. But that check was deposited back into the account on June 29. The court could not explain why the transaction occurred. 

The audit report showed several problems with the way the court conducted its business. It lacked a segregation of duties, which allowed one person to handle all aspects of processing transactions, from beginning to end.

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The auditor noted the cost of hiring additional employees versus the benefit of proper segregation of duties must be weighed.

The county court responded to the auditor that a complete segregation of duties would be "extremely difficult." The solution the court came up with is to rotate various duties on a monthly and quarterly basis to ensure one person is not continually doing the same job and to allow oversight by other employees. 

The state auditors also found problems with followup on overdue balances because of a lack of a regular review of those balances.

And the court did not record receipts for interest earned on a consistent, timely basis. The court responded that changes are being made in that process. 

Reach the writer at 402-473-7228 or jyoung@journalstar.com. On Twitter @LJSLegislature.

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State government reporter

JoAnne Young covers state government, including the Legislature and state agencies, and the people they serve.

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