State auditor's report released - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

State auditor's report released

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By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

MADISON COUNTY, MS (WLBT) - The State Auditor's office released their findings on Madison County road contracts involving county engineer Rudy Warnock.  This came after some Madison City and County officials raised concerns about misuse of tax payer money.

At the center of the State Auditor's report was Warnock and his contracts with Madison County since 2004.  The State Auditor found the Board of Supervisors has poor oversight and monitoring of contracts allowing for the potential of double payments. 

Attorney Steve Seale responded in a press conference, "They found no duplicative payments.  They found no misuse of payments.  They found no improper payments.  They just said the potential existed."

The report demonstrates the contracts had missing information or confusing terms that seemed to protect the engineer and not the Madison County tax payers.

"We're going to look at everyone of those contracts again and make sure they are in the best interest, written in the best interest, of the county," said Seale. "Again, no harm has occurred to Madison County."

Supervisor D.I. Smith, who had called for an in-depth audit more than a year ago, believed plenty of harm has been done to tax payers.

"This is a very scathing report.  It's very damning on the conduct of business in Madison county, particularly how it relates to the engineer," said Smith.

The State Auditor found the contracts provided compensation to Warnock which resulted in more than 14%-15% of total construction costs which is above the average.

"Every tax payer in Madison is getting fleeced.  What this report says is something else needs to be done," said Madison Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler.

The State Auditor's office received several requests for this review of contractual issues.  The second part of the report, the financial analysis, will be released later.

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