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Story Archives: Report shows Ridgecrest short $27,000
|Report shows Ridgecrest short $27,000|
Ridgecrest Mayor Pro Tem Dwayne Sikes said a 2010 financial report has revealed the town is short $27,000.
He said the report indicated "poor bookkeeping" was to blame.
Sikes recently assumed the leadership role in Ridgecrest following the resignation of Mayor Kevin Graham three weeks ago.
"We don't know why he (Graham) resigned," Sikes said.
Town clerk Dana DeLaughter has been placed on administrative leave, he noted.
Sikes said CPA Myles Hopkins of Silas Simmons of Natchez presented the financial report to the council at a meeting at town hall.
"They (Silas Simmons) would not sign off on the report because they said they could not come up with a good, clean audit due to real poor bookkeeping," Sikes said. Because of that, the firm would not give an opinion on the town's finances, Sikes said.
Hopkins said he could not comment on the report, which has been forwarded to the Legislative Auditor.
Sikes said news of the financial shortfall "blind-sided" the town council.
"We're in a financial bind -- basically we're broke -- but we're paying our bills," he said, adding that the town is debt free.
"We'll let the state tell us what's going on," Sikes said. "We're not accusing anybody of anything."
Sikes said Mary Lawrence is working at town hall as assistant town clerk.
He said the council last week appointed him to serve as mayor until a special election can be held to fill the remainder of Graham's term. He said his resignation as alderman and his appointment as mayor has been forwarded to officials with the Secretary of State's office.
"I did not want the job of mayor," Sikes said. "I was happy as an alderman and mayor pro tem."
He said Ridgecrest "is part of my life. I'm going to try to do what's best for the citizens. I have no other wants."
He urged residents "to get involved in their town. Many times we have nobody at town hall meetings."
According to Sailor Jackson Jr., Director of Communications for the Secretary of State, Graham's resignation became official on Nov. 2.
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