Clayton mayor cited in audit on gas purchases
posted Wednesday, November 14th, 2012 @ 12:51 pm
The Louisiana Legislative Auditor says Clayton Mayor Rydell Turner may have violated state law by using $3,383 of town funds over an 19-month period for the purchase of 1,049 gallons of fuel for his personal vehicle.
Turner reported the fuel was used for town business but he had no records to support the claim, according to the state audit.
Auditors recommended in a 10-page report released on Nov. 7 that the town seek legal advice to recover the funds.
A copy of the report has been delivered to District Attorney Brad Burget, according to Legislative Auditor Daryl G. Purpera.
"We are in the process of reviewing the report and will make some decisions in the near future about the handling of the matter," Burget said.
Turner has served as mayor since July 2008 and is now in his second four-year term.
The Legislative Auditor reported that the town's external auditor, Silas Simmons, LLP, of Natchez disclosed last year "several issues concerning fuel purchases, including missing purchase orders and that the mayor was purchasing fuel for his personal vehicle without any documentation to support the purchases."
Auditors reviewed town records to determine whether the mayor's fuel purchases were proper and interviewed town employees and examined documents.
The reports notes: "Mayor Turner stated that the board of aldermen approved the use of his personal vehicle for Town business" and that "the fuel was used in his personal vehicle for official Town business and that he did not maintain a calendar or mileage log to document his business use. Mr. Willie Evans, a former Clayton alderman from 1988-2012, stated that he does not recall approving Mayor Turner's use of his personal vehicle, but that if the board of aldermen did discuss it, it would be in the Town's minutes."
Auditors reported they were unable to locate in the minutes approval for the mayor's fuel purchases for his personal vehicle.