Auditors who recently attempted to match inventory records against equipment actually owned by the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office never located 60 department-issued weapons, said County Auditor Ray Eufracio.
With the so-called “fixed asset” audit nearly completed, Eufracio said the county Auditor’s Office asked the Sheriff’s Office to make a last-ditch attempt to locate the missing weapons.
“At one point, there were 21 weapons that we were not able to locate,” Eufracio said, but new information prompted the Auditor’s Office to triple the number. “I believe at this point a total of 60 that we have not been able to identify.”
Auditors don’t know how many weapons simply didn’t arrive at the Sheriff’s Office during the audit process, Eufracio said, and how many just vanished — missing or stolen — without anyone filing the proper paperwork and updating inventory records.
“We’re going to let the audit take its course,” said Cmdr. Joel Rivera, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office. “Our doors are open.”
Rivera and Sheriff Eddie Guerra joined the Sheriff’s Office in April after three-term Sheriff Lupe Treviño resigned. Treviño later pleaded guilty to money laundering and awaits sentencing. Treviño declined to comment on Thursday.
The Auditor’s Office hadn’t reviewed fixed assets at the Sheriff’s Office since at least January 2005, Eufracio said, when Treviño replaced Sheriff Henry Escalon. Eufracio said he didn’t know whether or not the Auditor’s Office had conducted a similar review back then.
Without any previous inventory audit on file, the Auditor’s Office may never know when the weapons went missing.
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