Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Accounting firm hired to investigate possible embezzlement in Parchment

An independent accounting firm was hired to investigate alleged embezzlement in the city of Parchment after a citizen tipped off Mayor Robert Heasley.
Heasley said the citizen filed a complaint after coming across information through the Freedom of Information Act that suggested a sum of money was missing in the city's budget. Plante Moran, an accounting and management consulting firm with offices throughout Michigan and Ohio, was hired in last week to look into the city's financial records.
Though Heasley was hesitant to comment on the details of the audit until its completion, he said the firm is not looking at the entire city budget or its payroll. He was also unable to comment on the sum of money that is allegedly missing, but said he doesn't believe anything will come of the investigation.
"Until we get definitive answer about whether there is missing money I can't talk about it," Heasley said. "I'm quite certain there isn't a penny missing."
To his knowledge, there hasn't been an incident in the embezzlement in Parchment.
"I've been doing this a long time and this is a first for me," he said.
Plante Moran is likely to be finished with its audit by the end of the month, Heasley said. Depending on the severity of its findings, the issue may be discussed by the City Commission.
In 2014, a 19-month investigation into the embezzlement of an  estimated $20,000 from the Parchment School District without making an arrest. The cash was taken from gate collections at athletic events during the 2011-12 school year.

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