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Sutton Police chief comes under fraud investigation
The Sutton Police Chief is under investigation after an anonymous tip to the State Auditor leading to an investigation into the use of public funds.
Possible misuse of funds was identified an 18 page report released last week by State Auditor Mike Foley.
The item was scheduled to be discussed at Wednesday night's city council meeting. But, it was suddenly removed from the agenda by Council Member Fred Figee.
No one knows why, not even the Mayor. It is just adding to the list of unanswered questions
The Auditor of Public Accounts lists personal gun purchases, food, gas and credit card purchases. Uniforms were bought and even cell phones were identified.
"I was kind of surprised I guess I haven't seen anymore since then - just what I read in the paper," said resident Eervin Griess.
The APA examined certain expenditures during the period of October 1, 2009 through August 31, 2012.
The APA identified other suspicious City purchases. The City paid a gun dealer for ammunition, batteries, gun cleaning, and a tactical handgun not listed in the Police Department's inventory.
These invoices are proof of the purchases made.
"Who took money out of his check to pay for this? Somebody should be accounted for," resident Dean Kissler.
Smaller account charges were made at the Brown's Thrift Store, like pop, candy, meat, cheese and other items.
The fraud investigation has left other community members in shock.
"If he is guilty, it's wrong, but I think the world of him and you're just stunned when you read something like this, you know," said resident Celesta Griess.
The City's purchases of firearms and other items for personal use of the Chief abuse both constitutional and statutory concerns.
The Nebraska State Constitution prohibits extending the credit of the State to a private individual or enterprise.
"I figured whoever let him do that is wrong," Kissler said.
News 5 tried contacting him on numerous occasions Wednesday and was unable to reach him. News 5 even called the Mayor Bob Hale and he told me he wasn't aware that the item had been removed.
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