Wednesday, January 31, 2024

State Auditor finds financial mismanagement in City of Wynnewood forensic audit

State Auditor Cindy Byrd


OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (January 30, 2024) - Oklahoma State Auditor & Inspector Cindy Byrd today released her forensic audit report for the City of Wynnewood. This audit was requested by a citizen petition asking the State Auditor and Inspector’s Office (SA&I) to look into several areas of concern occurring between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2021.  

Among the findings of interest are a general lack of diligence regarding the commingling of sales tax money earmarked for specific purposes. A total of $696,731.92 from the Arbuckle Master Conservancy District was inappropriately transferred to the city’s utility bank accounts.

“The commingling of funds is a violation of statute but we found no fraud or waste in this regard. The City of Wynnewood simply put the money in the wrong account,” Auditor Byrd said. “However, the fact that the City Clerk gave herself an unauthorized $10,000 per year raise is a clear violation. The Oklahoma Constitution clearly states that an elected official may not receive a salary increase during a term of office. Additionally, the City Clerk never even submitted her raise to the City Council for approval.  The City Clerk salary was $35,000 and she unilaterally raised it to $45,000.”

Other findings of the audit include the City of Wynnewood using $120,368.52 in sales taxes for street maintenance and improvement. That money had been earmarked via ballot measure for other purposes. SA&I is recommending these funds be returned to the designated restricted-use account.

“City officials prompted this investigation after failing to deliver timely open records requests,” said Cindy Byrd. “We noted many instances of missing agendas, minutes, and records. The receipts for use of the city’s gas credit cards were not maintained in an organized manner and were not able to be audited. The City also did not follow proper procedures for passing ordinances. Our team reviewed 12 ordinances and 11 of them were not properly published in the newspaper for the public to view.”

The final audit report has been delivered to the Garvin County District Attorney’s office.

The full audit is posted here on the Oklahoma State Auditor & Inspector’s official website.


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