Oklahoma town must repay federal police grant

Wednesday, March 26th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(Tryon-AP) -- The Lincoln County town of Tryon may have to pay back $35,000 in federal dollars because it did not spend the money correctly.

The US Department of Justice told town officials that they will have to pay back the grant money that was not spent correctly.

Paying back the grant could stress the finances of the small northeastern Oklahoma town that has a yearly budget of $100,000.

City officials say a former police chief and a former town clerk never hired the officers the grant was supposed to pay for.

The town was given $150,000 to hire a full-time officer and one part-time officer for three years.

City officials say the money was used for other purposes, including giving the former police chief a raise.

Former police chief Frank Breeden and former town clerk Tina Simmons have denied the allegations.

Simmons says turnover often left the grant-funded positions empty.

Breeden says city trustees mismanaged the grant money.