The court system in Ferguson, Missouri, where the federal government last year found systemic racial bias by police toward blacks, is in “disarray with disorganized case files” and inadequate records controls, a state audit found on Wednesday.
Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway rated the city’s court system’s performance as “poor,” and she said court and city officials were uncooperative and sometimes combative….
In March 2016, Ferguson city officials agreed to a consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department to reform its police department after the 2014 shooting of an unarmed black teenager that sparked violent protests.
The consent decree, which required changes in some Ferguson police practices, followed a federal report that found a “toxic environment” for race relations but cleared the white officer who fatally shot the teenager, Michael Brown.
The state audit, part of a series of reviews of the state’s municipal courts, found records stored in locations throughout the city, some of which were unsecured. Some records, damaged by a water leak and covered in mold, were stored in a municipal garage, it said.
The audit, which covered the fiscal year ended June 30, 2015, also discovered a relatively small amount of revenue that was unaccounted for, inadequate accounting controls and about $26,000 in illegally collected fees.