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Meetings with the Burnet County Human Resources Department are expected to begin by Friday, Oct. 6, for the forensic audit of the Sheriff’s Office payroll, according to county Auditor Karin Smith. The audit will take around six to seven weeks, according to county Judge James Oakley. That timeline would put the report due near the end of November or the beginning of December.

Also, District Attorney Wiley “Sonny” McAfee confirmed that his office was conducting its own investigation. 

“I had previously discussed the situation with the sheriff and county auditor, and it was my understanding from that conversation the situation was resolved,” McAfee told on Wednesday, Oct. 4. “However, the county attorney requested that I review the records and advised me the complaint he had received was different than the original inquiry and asked me to look into it. I agreed to do so.”

Burnet County commissioners on Sept. 26 voted unanimously to hire forensic accounting firm Baker Tilley US LLP at a cost of $15,000-$20,000. The firm will look into accusations of irregularities in overtime pay from an anonymous complainant, Oakley said.

Baker Tilly is an international firm that specializes in accounting and assurance services. An assurance firm reviews financial statements, interviews accounting department personnel, and speaks with customers and clients to ensure compliance with industry standards in accounting.

“This is in their wheelhouse, this is what they do,” Oakley said. “They have a standardized process for the information they seek and the interviews they want to have.”

The company conducted a Closeout Construction Audit Report for the Police Facility Project in the city of Lakeway in 2019 when Oakley’s wife, Julie Oakley, was city manager. She resigned from that position in 2022.

“I was not aware of that,” the judge said when asked about the firm’s work for Lakeway.

Informal requests were sent out to multiple firms, but only Baker Tilly and Sage Investigations replied, Oakley said. The county is not required to go through an official bid process because the request is for professional services. 

The bid from Sage was $18,150.