Listener spokesperson: No comment on Natchez investigation – Mississippi’s Best Community Newspaper

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NATCHEZ – A spokesperson for the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office Shad White said he could not comment on an investigation sent to the auditor’s office by the city of Natchez.

“I know an investigation has been sent to us, but I can’t tell you where it’s at,” said Logan Reeves, who works in public relations for the auditor’s office. He also said he could not provide a timeline for an investigation.

On November 17, Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson, responding to Democrat Natchez’s questions, released a statement about a financial gap found in city funds.

Gibson said he was informed late on Friday November 12 that a “questionable transfer of funds from the city to external accounts had taken place.”

“Saturday morning at 9 am I reported this matter to the Mississippi State Auditor’s Office, who agreed the city should take immediate action to remedy the situation,” he said.

Gibson asked the Natchez Police Department to initiate an internal investigation, which was completed and handed over to the auditor’s office.

Gibson has not named any person or city department involved in the spread.

However, Natchez’s former city clerk, Servia Fortenberry, contacted The Natchez Democrat, saying the “questionable” transfer of funds was not questionable. Rather, she said, it was the regular pay, vacation, and pay time she was owed. Fortenberry said that as city clerk she handled payroll for the city and was still city clerk at the time and initiated the payment.

Fortenberry tendered her resignation as city clerk on October 12. Her last day of work was Monday, November 15.

Reeves provided an overview of how an investigation submitted to the auditor’s office is handled.

“When we receive some sort of allegation of badly spent money, the auditor’s office initiates an initial investigation. If he is determined to justify it, then a full-scale investigation will be carried out, ”he said.

“The goal is to identify and recover poorly spent taxpayer dollars,” Reeves said.


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