Audit: $500k may be missing from Broxton - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Audit: $500k may be missing from Broxton

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By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –Controversy is swirling around the city government in the small town of Broxton.

Last week we told you about the Mayor of Broxton who was being investigated by the Attorney General for voting fraud, and now a city audit reveals more than 500,000 dollars may be missing from the city.

Broxton may be a small town but they have a big problem. Hundreds of thousands of dollars may be "missing" from the city.

"The audit revealed that there was approximately $577,000 that was unaccounted for," said GBI Special Agent in Charge Russell Mansfield.

"It was shocking, I didn't think doing the audits would reveal these things," said City Manager Wiley Schley.

Last April, District Attorney Rick Curry requested the GBI perform an investigation.

"He received several complaints from citizens about possible missing money and unaccounted for money in the city of Broxton," said Mansfield.

But the first thing that had to be done was an official audit, which hadn't been done for the city in several years.

"When audits aren't done as regularly as they are supposed to do then there is always a chance people are going to raise questions as to where the money is," said Mansfield.

The Audit, which covered the years 2000 through 2009 revealed 528,358 dollars is missing from the cities general fund and another 49,169 is missing from cities sewer and water fund.

But investigators say, just because money is unaccounted for doesn't mean a criminal action has taken place.

"The main difficulty in a case like this is you have to distinguish differences that were caused by faulty or bad book keeping or discrepancies caused by criminal activity by someone stealing the money," said Mansfield.

Newly appointed city manager Wiley says he was one of those who requested the audit, but wanted it done for other reasons.

"We requested the audits be done so we could continue to get state grants we didn't have any idea that money was missing,"said Schley.

Now his main focus is restoring the town's reputation after a mound of bad publicity.

"We can't correct what had been done but we can prevent it from happening again," said Schley.

The city manager says he and the council plan to follow all the recommendations given by the auditor to prevent any future mishaps from happening.

The GBI plans to hand over their information to the District Attorney in the next couple weeks.

Once the District Attorney reviews all the interviews, the audit and paper work he will then decide if there is anything that is criminal or can be prosecuted.

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