AP audit uncovers inconsistencies in Louisiana town’s finances

A recent accounts payable audit of the Louisiana town of Tullos uncovered a lack of documentation for numerous checks written by former clerk Tonya Pittman, the Town Talk reports.

Among the discoveries were three checks totaling nearly $5,000 that Pittman issued to herself, which she claimed were a reimbursement for her personal health insurance. However, further investigation revealed that she was covered under her husband's insurance.

Auditors noted numerous bad practices, including a lack of checks and balances. Although two people were required to authorized checks for town purchases, Pittman got around this by using a stamp with former Tullos mayor Fred Book's signature on it. Additional oversights such as a shortage of funds in the town's traffic and utility accounts were also observed, the news source reports.

The state recommended numerous audit solutions, including the implementation of an accounting policy requiring the segregation of duties and multiple checks and balances.

The Times-Picayune reports that the city of New Orleans also had accounts payable inconsistencies. An expenditure audit carried out last year uncovered "payments made for goods that had not been received as well as payments made for invoices that lacked proper documentation." 

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