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Town of Clayton audit probes Mayor's use of town funds

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CLAYTON, La. (KNOE 8 News) - An investigative audit released to the public Monday, finds possible abuse of taxpayer dollars in the small town of Clayton in Concordia Parish. In the report, auditors say it was the mayor who is behind the mis-use of money.

A 2011 annual audit report looking into the Town of Clayton sparked a state investigation that revealed possible state law violations.

The Town of Clayton records show Mayor Rydell Turner used over one thousand gallons of fuel totaling three thousand dollars in a two year span. The report shows the mayor claims that gassing up his own car was only for town business, but auditors couldn't find anything to back up his claim. 

The mayor refused to comment to KNOE for this story, but he did talk to us earlier this year when the initial audit report was released. In that interview filmed in January, Turner admits his actions were questionable and at that time maintained he didn't abuse tax payer dollars.

"Is it right for me to put gas in my car to take care of town business? That's the question" said Turner, "That's the only thing I felt I did wrong that I didn't document where I went" added the mayor.

"It's not right, it's just not right" said Keith Drungoole, who has lived in Clayton his whole life and doesn't agree with the mayor filling up his truck on the tax payers dime. "All that money spent we're supposed to know about, after all it's our money" said Drungoole.

Auditors recommend Mayor Turner pay the town back for the unauthorized fuel purchases and discontinue purchasing fuel for personal vehicles. The state is also requesting the town require full documentation for all fuel purchases and require mileage logs for town vehicles. In a response letter to the auditor, Turner agreed to comply with all recommendations.

The report is now in the hands of Concordia's District Attorney. No word yet, if legal action will be taken against the mayor.


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