Audit  Audit of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office—Civil Process Division

The audit, which examined the period of January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018, was requested by Norfolk Sheriff Jerome P. McDermott to guide the transition when he was appointed by Governor Baker in December 2018 to serve the remainder of former Sheriff Michael G. Bellotti’s term.

Organization: Office of the State Auditor
Date published: February 5, 2020

Executive Summary

In accordance with Section 12 of Chapter 11 of the Massachusetts General Laws, the Office of the State Auditor has conducted a performance audit of the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office (NSO) Civil Process Division (CPD) for the period January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2018. In this performance audit, we assessed certain aspects of the division’s operations, including the collection of fees for the delivery of legal services, the administration of the division’s non-payroll expenses and contracting process for goods and services, the division’s bank account reconciliation process, and the authorization of payments to Deputy Sheriffs for weekly activities associated with the delivery of legal services and the enforcement of civil orders. This audit was performed at the request of Sheriff Jerome McDermott.

Below is a summary of our findings and recommendations, with links to each page listed.

Finding 1

CPD did not conduct timely reconciliations or maintain adequate records.


  1. CPD should develop policies and procedures that require monthly reconciliation of its bank accounts and should implement monitoring controls to ensure that these activities are performed in a timely manner.
  2. CPD should collaborate with NSO’s Finance Department to develop policies and procedures that require canceled checks to be retained in accordance with the Massachusetts Statewide Records Retention Schedule.

Finding 2

Norfolk County Deputy Sheriffs were not compensated for delivering attestation copies of documents.


  1. CPD should develop a process to ensure the accuracy of commissions paid to Deputy Sheriffs for delivering attestation copies.
  2. CPD should determine how many deliveries of attestation copies have been invoiced and then pay the commissions due the Deputy Sheriffs.

Finding 3

CPD received services without a signed contract.


NSO should ensure that no contractor begins working before there is a properly executed contract.


A PDF copy of the audit of the Norfolk Sheriff's Office - Civil Process Division is available here.





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Boston, MA 02133

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