|Updated: 4/21/2012 9:19 am
||Published: 4/20/2012 8:17 pm
BENTON, AR - A sign at the quiet and empty Tyndall Park in Benton reads "Concession Stand Closed Until Further Notice" but it's not because of the rain.
"At this point in time no one is being accused of embezzlement or any kind of wrong-doing," said City Attorney Brent Houston. "The money is simply unaccounted for."
But police are investigating the Benton Parks Department after almost $6,500 came up missing in the 2011 annual audit.
An independent accountant's write-up on the missing funds done by Yoakum, Lovell & Co. explains out of the more than $15,000 the park concession stand made last year during baseball and softball events, only roughly $9,000 are on documented receipts leaving more than $6,000 - gone.
So city attorney Brent Houston turned the matter over to police.
"I don't think that there's going to be any dispute that there were poor accounting procedures," said Houston.
Houston says this is the first year the Parks Department took charge of concession finances but the report found no one issued the required 1099 tax form while paying umpires, scorekeepers and even another parks employee with the earnings.
"I don't know that the city actually ever hired anybody but the city oversaw that program for the community and they oversaw the concessions operation and the city didn't have any interest in those operations," said Houston.
Houston says no employees have been suspended yet but adds that decision is up to the mayor. Tuesday night the Parks Commission meets to discuss the investigation further hoping to learn more on whether these missing funds are an honest mistake or not.