Trouble in Allen Parish: Oakdale, Oberlin audits released - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Trouble in Allen Parish: Oakdale, Oberlin audits released

(KPLC) (KPLC)
Former Oberlin Mayor Rick Smith. (Theresa Schmidt / KPLC) Former Oberlin Mayor Rick Smith. (Theresa Schmidt / KPLC)
ALLEN PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Audits released on Monday show trouble for two Allen Parish communities.

The first was in Oakdale, where auditors say the city is in a poor financial state.

In just one year, Oakdale's budget has gone from a surplus of $26,000 to a deficit of over $340,000. Other infractions, some criminal, were also mentioned in the audit.

The City of Oakdale's total revenue is down $921,000 from 2012, which is hurting the city's ability to make payments. The audit showed that because the city has no available funds, it was unable to fund the required reserve accounts on a sewer and bond issue.

The audit also found that city funds were used to play for things like insurance, dental and retirement benefits that should have been withdrawn from payroll checks. This could be a criminal offense.

The audit also showed that the city has been collecting money from tax levies on two issues that have expired or been paid off. Oakdale also hasn't been collecting funds from authorized tax levies, the audit said.

The city's expenditures exceed more than 5 percent of its budget, which could be a violation of the Louisiana Local Governmental Budget Act.

The Auditors Office said the Oakdale Police Department has made arrests in connection with the misuse of city funds and that a criminal investigation is under way.

No one from the police department could be reached on Monday.

The full Oakdale audit can be read HERE or at http://www.scribd.com/doc/207738327/Oakdale-Full-Audit



More from Oberlin

The other audit released Monday dealt with the troubles in Oberlin.

It is the same audit released by the town auditor at a council meeting several weeks ago.

Issues in the audit include the accusation that town equipment, materials and manpower may have been improperly used in a subdivision owned by former Mayor Rick Smith, who resigned weeks ago.

In an interview with KPLC last month, Smith denied any wrong doing and said that they were working to resolve other issues identified by the auditor.

Assistant Legislative Auditor Roger Harris said they are reviewing the CPA's report. Harris said in the weeks ahead they hope to develop a course of action to assist Oberlin.

The full Oberlin audit can be read HERE or at http://www.scribd.com/doc/207738640/Oberlin-Full-Audit

Smith's resignation letter can be seen HERE or at http://www.scribd.com/doc/198550409/Rick-Smith-Resignation-Letter

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