Questions linger regarding an audit of the Wake County register of deeds office about how money managed to go missing, why it took so long to realize it and why cash is required for marriage licenses, which would seem to be inefficient and unnecessary. The amount of missing money is mounting, as county audits have turned up a gap of $895,000.
Laura Riddick, now retired, is said by employees to have made the first count of money from tellers. The office deals in so much cash because of marriage licenses, which accounted for much of the money that came through the office. A News & Observer report said top-level employees in the office were suspicious that deposits were lower than expected, and for an eight-day period counted currency before delivering it to Riddick without telling her. They reported cash missing after the money left Riddick’s office, with the exception of one day when Riddick didn’t work.
District Attorney Lorrin Freeman has handled the issue properly in going to an internal audit, given that the eight-day “investigation” by employees didn’t have “before and after” witnesses to the cash counts before and after the money was handed to Riddick.
There will be more to come, and it’s hoped that an overall investigation will proceed more quickly. It’s also true that the office should not deal as much in cash, which seems antiquated in this age of debit cards and the like.