More controversy in Oberlin; special town meeting called - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

More controversy in Oberlin; special town meeting called

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A sign hangs in a local gas station in Oberlin. The town is behind on paying its bills. (Source: Theresa Schmidt / KPLC) A sign hangs in a local gas station in Oberlin. The town is behind on paying its bills. (Source: Theresa Schmidt / KPLC)
OBERLIN, LA (KPLC) -

Tensions and tempers are on the rise in Oberlin.

The town is months behind on bills, and Mayor Rick Smith has been accused of using town materials and resources in a subdivision he owns.

It has gotten so bad, a gas station and an auto repair shop in Oberlin won't allow the town to charge anything until its bills are paid.

"There are bills that have not been paid for 60-90 days," Smith said. "It is the town's responsibility ... but with the budget the way it is, there is no way to do that."

Town council members have called a special meeting for Tuesday night to discuss the finances. Smith said he's asked the legislative auditor to come in and take over the town's finances to help them through the current crisis.

The town council and the Allen Parish District Attorney are also asking for an investigation into Smith.

Last week, a preliminary audit report concerning Smith was forwarded to state police.

Smith said he has seen the preliminary audit and denies he did anything wrong. He also predicted that investigators will not find he did anything illegal or improper.

"I don't anticipate that," Smith said. "I really don't or I wouldn't be sitting here. If it is, at that point, we will deal with it."

Smith said a lot town's problems started before he got there.

You can see the full version of Smith's interview with KPLC HERE.

DA Todd Nesom has been tight-lipped about the findings, but confirmed that it has to do with allegations against Smith.

You can read more on the audit HERE.

In December, Oberlin resident Robert Lee contacted KPLC and made similar accusations against Smith. You can read that story HERE.

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