Hon. Earl R. Marshall
Greenup County Sheriff
P.O. Box 318
Greenup, Kentucky 41144-0318
Dear Sheriff Marshall:
By letter of December 19, 1992, you ask, in substance, whether, in view of Kentucky
Revised Statutes (KRS) 64.810, the State Auditor's office must have a valid reason for
performing the annual audit of the books of a county office, rather than allowing a county fee
official to employ a certified public accountant to perform such audit.
In our view the State Auditor of Public Accounts may elect to perform an audit of certain
county offices pursuant to KRS 64.810 without giving a reason for so doing. Discussion follows.
KRS 64.810(1)(a) provides that:
Any fiscal court, county clerk, or sheriff may employ a certified
public accountant to audit the books, accounts, and papers of the
county or his office in lieu of the audit conducted by the State
Auditor of Public Accounts required by KRS 43.070, if the Auditor
of Public Accounts declines to perform the audit or has failed to
respond to written notice of intent to employ a certified public
accountant within thirty (30) days of receipt of the notice.
In view of the language of KRS 64.810(1)(a), emphasized above, if the State Auditor of
Public Accounts wants to conduct the audit of county offices subject to such provision, he may
do so. He need not express a reason for so doing.
Under the language of the provision you have asked about (KRS 64.810), a fiscal court,
county clerk, or sheriff has authority to employ a certified public accountant to perform the audit
called for by KRS 43.070, only if the Auditor of Public Accounts declines to perform such audit,
or has failed to respond within thirty days to a written notice of intent to employ a certified
accountant for such purpose.
Your request does not indicate that your question involves a documented emergency
requiring an immediate audit. Accordingly, this response does not address employment of a
certified public accountant in such circumstance.
Gerard R. Gerhard
Assistant Attorney General