Audit Shows Questionable Spending By City Of Tahlequah Leaders

Thursday, February 12th 2015, 11:06 pm
By: News On 6

A state audit shows leaders in Tahlequah spent too much money on land and never secured bids on several city projects.

The report found the city skirted the state's bidding laws at the cost of tens-of-thousands of dollars; and several people are concerned with the lack of transparency.

The report shows where city officials failed to follow the laws on securing lower bids for the projects and mentioning how much items would cost taxpayers.

When it comes to the speed humps purchased more than a year ago, the state auditor said the city of Tahlequah never asked for bids and the city council never approved the $39,000 price tag.

The report also says Tahlequah's street commissioner only got one verbal quote on several bicycle lane markers.

The $9,000 purchase order was created after the markers were installed.

Read The Full Audit Report

The auditor's report shows the city spent too much when it bought several homes and property for the city's Greenway park project.

The report says the city paid $62,000 for a lot that sold for almost half that a year earlier.

Josh Bliss was just elected as a city council member and he's not happy about the auditor's findings.

"Anytime that the common will of the people is usurped by any individual...for it to happen it should be a crime," Bliss said.

Tahlequah resident, Shannon Dawson, said the report shows the lack of transparency between city officials and the public.

"I think this audit only does a small portion of what will be necessary a whole,"

State Auditor Gary Jones said the city needs to show the public what's being spent.

"You need to follow those procedures...when they have that lack of documentation they have those concerns," Jones said.

The District Attorney's office and prosecutors are reviewing the findings to see if any laws were broken.