Audit shows major holes in Marlin’s accounting practices

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A recent audit of the finances of the City of Marlin has found major accounting deficiencies, Fox 44 reported.

Mayor Carolyn Lofton held a press conference this weekend to reveal that an auditor found discrepancies in the city’s finances, including two pages of voided checks, name changes on accounts and deleted accounts.

According to officials quoted by KWTX, the activity occurred days before an Oct. 30 audit. Shortly before audit results were released, then-finance director Vikki Grimes gave the city two weeks’ notice that she would leave her post for a new job. City officials asked her not to finish her remaining days, KWTX reported.

Lofton said she’s not accusing Grimes of criminal activity but that the city is planning a deeper dive into its accounting practices, Fox 44 reported. Marlin, the seat of Falls County southeast of Waco, is also in the process of hiring a new financial director.

Officials fear that hundreds of thousands of dollars may be missing from city accounts, KWTX reported. The FBI has been asked to help in the investigation.

“I’m going to wait until we have an auditor come in, a forensic auditor [to] actually look at the books and let us know what we’re looking at,” the mayor said.

Lofton said the city has generated $10 million in revenue the past two years, but that money appears to have been mismanaged.

“It’s obvious that our streets weren’t being repaired. So, with that kind of money coming in, you would’ve thought that there would have been some upkeep around the city that we weren’t seeing, so it just makes us wonder,” she said, Fox 44 reported. “That’s what people are paying their utility bill for. That’s what they pay their taxes for. So that their streets are maintained, and they can have drinkable water.”

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