Spring Lake officials spent thousands of dollars inappropriately, NC audit says

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The North Carolina State Auditor said town officials in Spring Lake used thousands of dollars in funds inappropriately.

According to a report released Monday, town officials and board members:

  • Spent more than $366,000 on purchases that violated town policies
  • Spent more than $122,000 on questionable practices
  • Failed to bill, record and collect $90,000 from a customer for utility services

The auditor recommended that the Board of Aldermen should oversee the town’s operations, that the town should consider disciplinary action against management, and that the town should seek reimbursement from those that misused their procurement cards.

A report by the state auditor found that 63 Spring Lake employees and three aldermen may have misspent nearly $460,000 over five years.

Much of it was personal purchases that were made on town credit cards, the audit says.

The report found the questionable activity took place between July 2010 and March of 2015.

They say it involved the mayor, police chief, fire chief and finance director.

The state auditor said her office was alerted to it by a tip. she calls it outrageous.

“Somebody should be going down the list and saying yes I have an approved expenditure. Somebody signed off on this. Here’s a reason for or here’s where the town’s business purpose comes into play and someone agrees with that,” said Beth Wood, CPA, NC State Auditor.

The report also found that spring lake failed to collect more than $90,000 from a customer for utility services.

The town manager says they’re now reviewing all of this. There’s a town board meeting scheduled for 7 Monday night.

The findings were released Monday in a letter to Gov. Pat McCrory from State Auditor Beth Wood.

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