HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — After years of budget issues and mishandling of funds from previous administrations, the town of Gordon is seeking help from the Houston County Commission with an audit the mayor says is vital for the town.
The town’s former mayor, Shana Ray, was also at Monday’s commission meeting, asking that audit go back even further.
During Monday’s Houston County Commission meeting, commissioners voted to help the town of Gordon with the audit, hoping this will help move them forward from the problems they’ve been facing.
The audit, which the county has agreed to help with is estimated to cost $16,000, will go through financial records to help find where some of the taxes from 2016 and on, which were supposed to be paid to the state went.
The town’s mayor believes it’s crucial to move the town forward and even bring legal action against those in the previous administrations.
“We also think it will help to grant agencies have some confidence in Gordon,” Houston County’s Chairman Mark Culver said. “Feel good about investing money.”
Ray was at the commission meeting encouraging the audit and claims she had an audit done in 2019.
Ray was appointed to the office after former Mayor Elbert Melton was stripped of his duties. He was convicted of voter fraud in January of 2019.
“By Ingraham and carr here in Dothan Alabama,” Ray said. “The forensic findings were turned over to the Alabama State Department of Attorney General.”
Ray believes the audit needs to go back ten years to get to the root of the problem, something the commission says needs to be taken up with the current mayor.
“I feel that doing just four years, you’re just scraping the dirt off the top,” Ray said.
Ray said she has nothing to hide and is more than willing to work with the county to provide any information they need. She too said she wants those responsible, held accountable, and claims no corruption took place during her time in office.
“From my point of view, and I can only speak for myself, that it did not happen in my administration,” Ray said.
Culver says the goal of the audit is to bring to light how money in the town was or wasn’t spent over the years. The commission believes will clear up any wrongdoing and get the town moving forward once again.
“In this particular case we do want to get this done,” Culver said. “We can be sure our funds are being spent right and we can also help them move forward past all the things that have happened.”
The Houston County Commission and the town of Gordon’s mayor hope this audit will not only help move the town forward but also bring legal action to those responsible for past problems.