State audit reveals suspected embezzlement of more than $1.7 million in Hartshorne
by Randy Ellis, NewsOK

HARTSHORNE — A former Hartshorne city clerk allegedly used a city credit card to run up more than $80,000 in personal expenditures — including thousands of dollars in tickets to professional sporting events, $264.50 for a Coach diaper bag and at least $829.79 in vacation expenses associated with a trip to Cozumel, Mexico, a state audit has revealed.

Auditors said it also appears that the former city clerk, Dawn Dunkin, “misappropriated” at least $18,004.55 in court fines.

But the amount of money auditors say Dunkin may have misappropriated pales in comparison to the more than $1.7 million in missing utility payments that auditors are blaming on former City Treasurer Shirley Day.

From “July 2009 through July 2016, it appears that a possible $1,725,336.16 of utility revenue was not deposited,” auditors said. “Shirley Day did not appear to effectively execute her duties as the city treasurer in the collection, recording and depositing of utility billing revenue.”

Auditors said when they quizzed Dunkin about her alleged misuse of the city credit card, she acknowledged that she had used the card for personal expenditures but said the charges were “always approved by the mayor.”

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