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New ordinance on wire transfers for Washington County

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Washington County

Oct. 20, 2016 – West Bend, WI – On Tuesday, broke the story about how county supervisors were looking to pass a motion regarding a vote of ‘no confidence’ for Washington County Treasurer Jane Merten.


The vote is in light of an incident last June when a pair of wire transfers, worth nearly $88,000, were sent to fraudulent accounts. The Washington County Sheriff said half of that never went through.


Supervisor Don Kriefall has initiated a resolution for a ‘no confidence’ vote for Merten. “I didn’t get the impression this was an intentional act but there were quite a few wire transfers made before and they were all done with an invoice, RFP or a signature by the person sending them and this is the only one that was not done that way,” he said.


The vote of ‘no confidence’ proposal comes before the full County Board on Tuesday, Oct. 25.


Now today another resolution is coming before the Administrative Committee regarding creation of a new County Ordinance on how there should be “internal controls in place for the protection of county funds so that disbursements are made for valid business purposes by authorized individuals in compliance with applicable policies to ensure accountability”


In light of the recent wire transfer fraud, Supervisor Kelling has requested review of the attached proposed ordinance creation to establish controls for wire transfers.

“Our standard practices have been in place for a long time, there has no been a written procedure for wires (wire transfers) specifically,” said County Administrator Joshua Schoemann.


The county does have a standing subcommittee meeting on Wednesday where all cash disbursements and wire transfers are reviewed. “Wire transfers happen so rarely and now we know there is a need to have a written procedure,”  said Schoemann. “There was a practice with that as well but it was not followed.”
Schoemann acknowledged there was no procedure about handling wire transfers in writing but he said, “We had always done things a certain way and I’m not sure why we did it differently this last time.”
Here’s the wording of the proposed ordinance for wire transfers.

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