County reviewing financial records
Published: Friday, December 14th, 2007
Curry County officials are reviewing financial records and have notified state police they may be missing funds. State Police Sgt. E.J. Fouratt said the agency is waiting for county officials to complete their review before beginning an investigation. “We’ve looked at a couple of things, but there’s no official investigation going on right now,” Fouratt said. “Right now we just don’t know if there’s a crime (that’s) been committed.” County Attorney Stephen Doerr said no officials are being investigated, and no evidence has been turned over to police. County Finance Manager Mark Lansford said he is conducting an internal review of the funds in question and will turn his findings over to the county manager and attorney sometime next week. They in turn will route the findings as appropriate, he said. Curry County Manager Lance Pyle said the review is focused on county fair revenues. Lansford said the county made about $148,700 in ticket sales and carnival rides this year, compared to $97,700 in 2006, when heavy rains limited attendance. Fairgrounds Manager Justus Anderson did not return telephone calls to his office, cell phone and home seeking comment. Anderson submitted a letter of resignation Monday with an effective date of Friday. The letter did not include a reason for his resignation. Pyle said he did not ask Anderson why he resigned and does not know why he resigned. Neither Pyle, Lansford nor County Commission Chairman Albin Smith would say how much money has not been accounted for. Smith said the county approached state police last month after the commission became aware that funds could be missing. He said police were asked as a third party to help account for the money. Curry County Treasurer Rhonda Bookout said she had been advised not to comment on the matter. District Attorney Matt Chandler said his office was approached by county officials who wanted an outside agency to investigate. He facilitated contact with state police, he said. “County officials have requested an outside agency to review records and accounting information to determine if there are any missing funds,” Chandler said. The district attorney’s office has no involvement in the case unless criminal charges are filed, Chandler said.
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