Audit finds problems in Barbourville

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Associated Press

Posted on January 8, 2014 at 10:03 PM

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The state Auditor's Office says findings from an audit of a southeastern Kentucky city will be referred to the Attorney General's Office and the Department of Revenue.

The office began examining finances at the city of Barbourville last year after council members made a request.

The Lexington Herald-Leader (http://bit.ly/1eokdoA) reports results from the special examination were released Tuesday and said multiple problems led to financial mismanagement.

Findings included that the city and some of its boards did not obtain bids before purchasing products and paid more for property than it was worth.

It also found that Mayor David Thompson swayed leaders in 2007 to hire his wife at a water park operated by the city and that while she was in charge the facility did not file state sales tax returns on concessions.

"Small Kentucky communities, which are the lifeblood of our commonwealth, need to be responsible stewards of extremely limited yet important resources," Edelen said in a statement.

Mayor David Thompson did not return a call from the newspaper, but said in a written response that he accepted the findings and would use the report's recommendations to fix the problems.

He said the sales tax returns had been filed, and he agreed to stop serving on the city's tourism and recreation boards.

The audit report also noted that concession revenues weren't reported to the boards or to auditors.

"The public has no idea how much money these park concessions made or how it was spent," Edelen said. "Parks may seem like small potatoes to some, but they are important community assets."

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com

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