Fenton still under investigation for 2016 audit

Updated: Mar. 19, 2018 at 5:50 PM CDT
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FENTON, LA (KPLC) - A new audit report says the Village of Fenton continues to be under investigation by the State Legislative Auditor's Office.

This is related to an audit report issued last fall, raising concerns for the 2016 fiscal year.

In the most recent report, an independent auditor said it was unable to issue an opinion on Fenton's financial statements or internal controls because officials cannot provide the proper documentation to justify their spending.

Assistant Legislative Auditor Bradley Cryer says something like this really doesn't happen too often at the Legislative Auditor's office.

"The records were not sufficient for the auditor to even determine whether or not the information was accurate," said Cryer. "So, we asked the village to provide us with a corrective action plan and that corrective action plan is something that they have to go through and fix the problem so that this type of report doesn't come up again."

The independent CPA submitted the report with 14 findings, including a withdrawal of $2,250 that appeared to have been made by a former clerk and placed on a prepaid debit card, as well as extra paychecks given to Mayor Eddie Alfred, a council member, and two clerks.

"The DA has the opportunity to go through the report and determine whether there's anything in the report he feels right rises to the level of fraud that would be prosecuted and certainly our staff are available to assist him with any further investigation," said Cryer. "Our investigators are still involved with the village right now."

The report has been handed over to the DA's office, according to Cryer.

The report states the council member repaid the extra money he received, while the Mayor had agreed to begin repaying $15,000 in excess pay starting in November 2017.

Cryer could not speak to whether Mayor Alfred has begun to pay the money back, and 7News reached out to the mayor, who was not available for comment.

Also in the report, it was noted there was an investigation into police department's use of Traffic Enforcement Detail Funds.

The auditor cites the unauthorized ACH transfer as a possible instance of fraud and states the clerk, no longer employed by the village, was to blame.

The village is still under investigation and Cryer says it's going to take a while to straighten everything out.

"There's going to be a lot of work on the village's part to get these claims cleaned up," said Cryer."

The village is still unable to receive state funding, it's been on the non-compliance list for not submitting everything needed for the 2017 audit as well.

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