old school adidas Audit outlines personal spending of Hartshorne tax dollars
While drivers in Hartshorne dodged streets pocked with potholes and watched the uncut grass at Elmwood Cemetery grow high as weeds, some city officials in office at the time were spending the citizen’s tax dollars in other ways.
That’s according to an outline of city of Hartshorne expenditures included in the special investigative report conducted by State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones’ office.
When the money from utility payments that the auditor’s office concludes was never deposited by former City Treasurer Shirley Day is added to money from court fines the audit report states was misappropriated during former City Clerk Dawn Dunkin’s watch along with the amount of personal expenses the audit concludes Dunkin charged on the city of Hartshorne’s credit card the total reaches $1,823,424.06.
That doesn’t include money paid to some city employees under conditions the state auditor’s office deemed questionable. Tuesday, Oct. 24, at the North Ward Elementary School Auditorium. Jones plans to attend the meeting so he can review the findings and is also expected to answer questions from Hartshorne residents.
One section of the state auditor’s report issued Thursday and an accompanying attachment states “City Clerk Dawn Dunkin charged at least $80,083.35 in personal expenditures with the city’s Visa credit card.”
“We found the supporting documentation for credit card transactions to be almost non existent,” the report states. “Because of this, multiple requests and subpoenas were issued to vendors to obtain credible records to document the validity of the transactions incurred.”
“We found no official approval by the City Council for the Visa credit card,” the report continues. “The June 3, 2011, minutes made note of a vote by the council to apply for a card through the city’s bank, but no other mention or approval was found.”
“There was conflicting information as to how many credit cards existed and how many officials used them. However, evidence reflected that only one credit card was used, the one in the name of City Clerk Dawn Dunkin,” the report states.
“Between July 2011 and August 2016, Dawn Dunkin charged 354 personal transactions totaling $80,083.35 on the city’s Visa credit card,
” the report states. Personal expenditures made with public funds are prohibited by state law, the report notes.
“Dawn Dunkin’s personal federal taxes were paid on the city’s credit card for calendar year 2015 in the amount of $970,” the report states.
The report also references four separate charges totaling $3,389.03 were incurred for a trip to Arlington, Texas. on a trip to Cozumel, Mexico were also reported.
“In June, 2016, Dawn Dunkin, along with 13 other individuals traveled to Cozumel, Mexico,” the report states. “At least $829.75 of vacation costs were paid on the city’s credit card,” according to the state auditor’s report.
The auditor’s report states that in an interview, Dunkin acknowledged she had made personal expenditures with the city’s credit card.
“However, according to Dunkin, the charges she incurred on the Visa card were ‘always approved by the mayor,'” the auditor’s report states.
“Mark Day and Carolyn Trueblood, the two individuals who served as mayor during Dunkin’s personal use of the credit card, both stated that they had not approved for Dunkin,
or anyone else, to make personal expenditures with the City’s credit card,” the report states.
“Dunkin also represented to the SA that she had paid back ‘everything’ that she had charged for personal use,” the report continues. “According to Dunkin, she made the reimbursement payments to City Treasurer Shirley Day in cash from earnings she had won at casinos. According to Treasurer Day, she never received any credit card reimbursement payments from Dunkin,” the report states.
“We could find no evidence that any reimbursements had been made to the city by Dunkin,” the auditor’s report continues. “One receipt was located at City Hall which reflected that Dunkin had reimbursed the city $2,500 in cash on April 5, 2016, for “Card Services,” the report continues.
Among the items listed in the state auditor’s report as personal expenditures on the card:A total of $8,505.09 for tickets to football, basketball and football games, as well as a concert, during a time period covering from Aug. 6. 2013, to April 16, 2016,