Mayor calls for recovery audit in response to alleged public servant embezzlement

The town of Dexter, New Mexico's fiscal year 2011 audit revealed more than $12,000 in taxpayer funds had been embezzled or misspent by public servants, KRQE-TV reports.

According to accounts payable audit findings, the questionable expenditures racked up by police, emergency responders and volunteer firefighters included purchases of disallowed clothes and fuel for company vehicles used outside of work. Additionally, pharmaceutical drugs were bought in quantities "greater than could have possibly been used by the patients served by … EMS volunteers," the audit found, as quoted by the news source.

Fire chief Justin Powell addressed the allegations in an interview with the media outlet, maintaining "the department's concern has always been the safety of the citizens and the community regardless of what's been said" and claiming the incongruities highlighted by the audit were caused by bookkeeping issues.

Mayor David White has called for an independent, comprehensive recovery audit to be launched in order to ascertain that all spending is above board.

Elsewhere in the state, an audit of Sunland Park is expected to reveal "numerous" violations of state law, including financial noncompliance, according to the Las Cruces Sun-News.

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