Details Unfold In Hartshorne Audit Scandal

Friday, October 20th 2017, 5:46 pm

People in Hartshorne are reeling after a state audit revealed more $1.5 million is missing from the city's bank account.

10/19/2017 Related Story: Audit Reveals More Than $1 Million Missing In City Of Hartshorne

The community is trying to make sure their money is safe from here on out.

A lot of people have questions about how so much went missing, over so many years, without anyone noticing.

The state auditor will be here next week to help answer some of those questions.

The audit shows the money was taken mainly from city utility payments that came in as cash but never got to the town's bank account.

It's so much money. Divided by the population, it's more than $1,000 for every person.

“That's some of my money, that's all there is to it, it's cut and dried and somebody is going to have to pay for that,” said resident Bob Baldwin.

The state audit identified City Treasurer Shirley Day and City Court Clerk Dawn Dunkin as the two city officials responsible for the missing millions.

“We'll be looking into it, I can confirm my involvement,” said District Attorney Chuck Sullivan. 

Sullivan said criminal charges require more investigation than what's in the audit and while his office is involved, there could also be charges from the state and federal level.

"Any citizen of that town is a victim of that crime. What do I make of it? It's a terrible thing," said Sullivan. 

Hartshorne City Hall has new people and new procedures to make sure money from citizens actually makes it to the bank.

The audit details more than a decade-long pattern of money diverted for personal use, confirming the suspicions that led citizens to demand the audit.

"I think people knew there was a problem. The just didn't realize the magnitude of the problem," said Bob Baldwin.

The town meeting with the state auditor is Tuesday at 6pm.