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Missouri State Auditor launches audit in Kennett

KENNETT, Mo. (KFVS) - State auditors are combing through the books of one Bootheel town after finding credible allegations of potential fraud.

Allegations of misused tax dollars prompted the city of Kennett to request the state auditor’s office to take a closer look at the books.

Kennett Mayor Jake Crafton said that because they wanted to make sure that money is being spent wisely, the city requested an audit.

“There were some financial discrepancies that were found,” said Crafton.

Missouri State Auditor Scott Fitzpatrick said it started last year.

“There was a whistleblower complaint in 2022 regarding allegations of a former employee adjusting payroll records and overpaying herself as well as improper use of city credit card,” said Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick said their initial investigation found those claims to be credible and now his office is taking a closer look.

“Once the auditors get in and start doing their work if they identify any other areas of concern we have the ability to expand the scope of the audit,” said Fitzpatrick.

Once his office gathers their findings, they’ll turn them over to law enforcement.

“To determine if charges should be filed and if criminal prosecution is warranted which is a frequent outcome of these audits,” said Fitzpatrick.

Mayor Crafton said he hopes this can be a learning experience for the city.

“Put in place financial safe guards so that this does not happen again,” said Crafton.

The results of the audit should come out in 2024.

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