Audit reveals thousands of dollars in improper spending in Shepherdsville

Updated: Nov. 28, 2017 at 12:43 AM EST
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SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new audit shows tens of thousands of dollars were spent by the City of Shepherdsville without proper reasoning or documentation.

The Shepherdsville City Council commissioned a $10,000 audit of finances from 2012 to 2016.

Auditors said they reviewed 116 transactions over the time span and found about 25% had an issue with them.

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It included things like $880.30 at Bootleg BBQ on Oct. 28, 2015 that was posted to a miscellaneous expense account with the reasoning, "BBQ for Claude Middleton's retirement" that had "no indication who attended and was not approved."

Earlier the same year, there were "several payments" in June of 2015 for "Hooters, Sammy's Grill and Embassy Suites" that had "no indication who the expense was for or why it was incurred."

Some payments had similar issues but were smaller like $37.84 in January of 2016 that "only had a post-it note saying, 'Took the girls out Friday.'"

The payments mostly occurred while Mayor Scott Ellis was in office. He resigned after allegations of exchanging promises for sexual favors.

One part of the audit includes questions with the city's controller. It said that when Ellis returned on August 30, 2016 from his initial resignation in February of 2016, he asked for and approved his own back pay. That means the city appears to have paid both Ellis and the interim mayor for seven months.

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The city also had regular anonymous $10,000 donations that the auditors said were secret to some council members.

After the review, the auditor went over 17 tips on how to prevent bad spending practices moving forward including better software, better training and a new ordinance for how expense and travel can be approved.

Right now, the city is waiting on a review of 2016-2017 finances.

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