The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

April 8, 2013

Auditor report scheduled for release today


PRINCEVILLE — PRINCEVILLE — Local Government Commissioner Viola Harris confirmed that the state auditor is scheduled to release a report today that could detail the possible misuse of funds by two elected officials and two former employees. Harris said she could not release details of the report.

The report may reveal misuse of funds by Mayor Priscilla Everette-Oates, Commissioner Isabelle Purvis-Andrews, former Interim Town Manager Maggie Boyd and former clerk Diana Draughn. Draughn's position was terminated by the LGC while the town board fired Boyd.

It has also been reported that the SBI also investigated the matter.

The town financial records have been under scrutiny since the Local Government Commission (LGC) took over the town's finances July 30, 2012. After the takeover, auditors reportedly found questionable charges.  

A document released by the LGC’s showed Everette-Oates made 244 charges from August 2010 to July 31, 2011. The majority of those charges were consumed by gas and restaurants as far as Washington D.C. The statement suggests that in the majority of the scenario, when the card was used to purchase gas, it was also was used to purchase food on that same day.

Draughn’s total was reportedly $2,216 while Everette-Oates topped $13,590 including $562.82 worth of late fees and interest.

The LGC demanded the user of the credit cards to produce documentation that the money was expended for town business in accordance with the polices of the town. The expenditure also must have been authorized in the town budget.

It is not clear whether or not Draughn or Everette-Oates provided LGC with that information.

Monday's report could also release the findings of 12 questionable line items concerning improper reimbursement by Everette-Oates, two items by Purvis-Andrews and one by Boyd. Everette-Oates' reimbursement reportedly amounted to $3,307 while Purvis-Andrews, $600 and Boyd's total is $204.