Heavener Audit Finds $282,000 Missing

Monday, October 16th 2006, 12:34 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A state audit released Monday found more than $280,000 missing in payments by Heavener residents for water bills, garbage collections and other services.

The audit of the Heavener Utilities Authority was requested by District Attorney Farley Ward.

``This investigation focused on utility payments which were being collected but not deposited into the authority's bank account,'' said Jeff McMahan, state auditor and inspector.

He said the report ``clearly shows'' that $282,070 in payments for water bills, meter deposits, garbage pickup and waste water services were collected but ``never made it to the bank. Unfortunately, as a result, the residents of Heavener experienced increased utility rates.''

Ward and Mayor Mel Brand, who is chairman of the utilities board in Heavener, located in Le Flore County in eastern Oklahoma, did not immediately return telephone calls for comment.