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12/11/2013 6:00:00 AM
Mohave County treasurer limits access to office
Restrictions are for when there's an 'issue of impropriety'

Kim Steele
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - Although no improprieties have come to light, Mohave County Treasurer Cindy Landa Cox is tightening the reins when it comes to the number of employees who can enter her office unsupervised.

Cox, who took office in January, sent out an email to county employees last month stating that she is limiting office access to only those who need it. The treasurer's office has a front counter separated from the public by a bulletproof window, and employees must use a key or swipe a badge to gain entrance beyond that.

"This has been done not to stop anyone from being in my office," said Cox in the email. "I merely want to exclude everyone from the pool of suspects if there is ever an issue of impropriety."

Cox noted some county workers, including emergency and communications personnel, would continue to have access so they can deliver and pick up mail. All visitors must be escorted at all times they are in the office, added Cox. The treasurer's office takes in tax payments from county residents and businesses, and holds the cash that comes in to other county offices until it can be deposited.

Cox said she made the change after asking the county's risk management department to create a list of all employees who have access to the treasurer's office. That four-page list included about 120 names that Cox whittled down to less than 30 names. Cox said she wasn't aware some employees could get into the office using a key but without swiping their badges that identify them.

"This was a precautionary measure to eliminate employees from suspicion if there were problems," said Cox, noting there have been none so far. "My office deals with a lot of money, and I made this change after October, which is our busiest time of the year. When I sent out the email, I was very clear that this would take people off the list as suspects, and everyone I talked to about it said OK, they didn't want to be a suspect."

Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson, District 3, said he was informed of the change and supports it.

"This is something that should be updated all the time," said Johnson. "The current county treasurer needs to have control of the keys and the access. Security in the treasurer's office should always be really tight."

Supervisor Joy Brotherton agreed, noting she is one of the people on the list who has no need to access the treasurer's office. If she does, Brotherton said, she could call or knock on the office door for admittance.

"I do think a lot of people had access to the office and a lot of them didn't need it," said Brotherton. "I think what Cindy did was a precautionary measure to keep things under control there and that was very wise. Sometimes after changing administrators, no one thinks of these kinds of things. Cindy did that for security and I think she did the right thing."

ICT - Dr. Mohtaseb
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• Money missing from Mohave County office

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013
Article comment by: Just Another Joe

I am surprised that so many people had access to your offices. You are not being paranoid at all just being careful. Keep up the good work that you do.

Posted: Sunday, December 15, 2013
Article comment by: Just Another Joe

Way too much time doing the same job Buster! Get out and give it to your secretary! Oops she is in the wrong district. Whatever, Buster has spent way too much time stagnant in Dist. 5, going to various places for meetings/conferences, and it has really not done the County much good so far... Syber space-really? Don't you have an IT Dept. for that? Oh yes they need raises too so he said recently in a meeting. Or maybe they could use a reclassification so they can get paid for what they are really doing hmmm who would do that? Well we could get Mr. Osuna to do that. I loved his explaination for giving re-classification raises to upper management...
Last but not least, Buster wants to spend 40-60k on a lobbyist? Were you not at the meeting Mr. Johnson on Dec. 2, 2013? Mohave County needs a liason to fill them in on issues that affect Mohave County directly. The board didn't feel it necessary to hire a full-time person to do this, so why does Buster? Why does he feel the need to spend so much of the tax payers money? Granted the lobbyist would keep the board abreast of the goings on, just lets not get carried away!

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: sounds like paranoia

How many people, businesses and property owners pay these folks in cash? Most people pay by check, I could be wrong as im not an expert in the financial habits of billy bob and other assorted red necks. Some could be possibly be paying in valuable furs.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: Confused Gent

I'm confused. Why is this news? Seems like an everyday decision that follows common sense.

Posted: Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Article comment by: V Stokes

Sounds like a person in charge doing what they are paid for. There's no reason for unlimited access to an area with lots of personal information and cash. Not every County employee of a certain position needs to be able to have access to every office.

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