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Richwood audit reveals a string of problems

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RICHWOOD, La. (KNOE 8 News) - More than $240,000 in past due bills sits on the desk of the Richwood mayor. That's according to the latest Louisiana Legislative Auditor's report. Richwood resident Sylvester Smith is hoping the findings will bring changes to his back yard.

"I love Richwood, it is what it is. I just hope it gets better for the kids that are coming up," Smith said.

The audit reveals more than just overdue bills but also no written plan in the town's economic development program headed up by former Mayor Ed Harris. The report shows there's also no evidence of a way to help town leaders not spend more taxpayer dollars than they have. Smith says with a reasonable spending plan, there could be a boom in construction in the area.
     
"I want to see development," Smith said. "And the youth and the kids doing something better than what we did growing up."  

When it comes to the police department, auditors say officers should put the breaks on their current traffic ticket system. The report shows officers not always returning completed ticket books and the town clerk not auditing the department. Smith says there are other issues in the police department.

"He'll pull me over, get me out of the car, slam me on the car, rough me up, ask me my name, give him your name, he say you're lying," Smith said.

As for the alderman's brother Mayor Alvin Jackson hired as the Director of Economic Affairs, in a letter to the auditor's office, Mayor Alvin Jackson says the town attorney is working on the legality of that move.

Auditors say the video bingo profits are not ringing in like they should in Richwood.
The report shows the town has lost more than $300,000, since 2008, for not collecting the right amount of taxes from video bingo.

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