AUDIT: City employee says they used city credit card for personal use

Updated: Oct. 20, 2020 at 12:16 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The 2018 audit performed for the city of Gosnell found big issues including an employee saying they used city credit cards for personal use and inadequate documentation from the city.

The audit, which was performed in May found that an employee wrote a letter to the city on March 17, 2020 saying they used the city’s Walmart credit card and Wex gas card for personal use.

“For a the period 1/1/2018-12/31/2018, the total purchases made by the employee on the Walmart card was $1,351.63 and on the Wex gas card was $1,519.16,” the audit said.

There was a lack of what the auditor said was supporting documentation so it could not be determined what amount spend was personal use versus legitimate city expenses.

That employee resigned on March 19, 2020, and a total of $2,000 in restitution was made to the city. The audit did not say whether the employee made the restitution.

The auditor recommended that the city contact the proper authorities about the these findings.

The audit also fund that the city did not maintain “adequate supporting documents” for purchases made with other city credit cards in general.

It said the city used monthly statements as those supporting documents instead of the original receipts.

“Therefore, the business purpose of those receipts could not be determined,” the audit said.

The most purchases came from the city’s Walmart, Tractor Supply Company, and Lowe’s credit cards, but the business purpose could still not be determined.

During 2018, the city made the following payments to these credit cards:

  • Walmart: $31,420.08
  • Tractor Supply: $11,181.05
  • NEAFCU Visa: $37,510.98
  • Lowe’s: $21,564.43
  • Dollar General: $2,00.86

Because of this, the auditor recommended the city keep better documentation for all city purchases. They also recommended the city preform an additional investigation to determine the business purpose of each purchase and to contact the proper officials if deemed necessary.

The auditor also found the city allowed employees to use the city’s Wex gas credit card for their privately owned vehicles, which the audit said goes against city policy.

The report said that city policy dictates a mileage form must be completed and approved by the mayor, which at the time was Don Marshall.

The mileage would the be reimbursed on a fixed rate set by the federal government.

It found that due to the lack of documentation the total amount used for privately owned vehicle could not be determined.

The auditor recommended that the city follow their own policy dealing with mileage reimbursement and that the city could preform an additional investigation into the purpose of the gas purchases and to contact the proper officials if deemed necessary.

Current Mayor Teresa Walker could not comment on the audit due to an ongoing investigation.

She also said the city is waiting to learn more from the 2019 audit of the city’s finances.

To read the full audit, click here.

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