Local Government Commission assumes control of East Laurinburg finances

State Treasurer Dale Folwell

RALEIGH — The N.C. Local Government Commission (LGC) voted to impound finances in the town of East Laurinburg following multiple attempts to correct major bookkeeping, banking and auditing deficiencies in the town.

“This is not a measure we ever want to take, but it is a necessary, last-resort action when a government unit fails repeatedly to comply with state regulations and statutes,” said State Treasurer Dale Folwell, who chairs the LGC. “Town residents must have full faith and confidence that their government is acting in accordance with the law, money is properly accounted for, tax funds are not being misused and essential services are being provided.”

The LGC unanimously approved the resolution in the wake of a recent investigative report by the State Auditor Beth Wood. North State Journal reported that the audit found East Laurinburg’s finance officer spent $8,542 on 42 transactions in funds that came from the town’s bank account that were questionable during the time period spanning February 2017 through February 2018.

The finance officer’s mother, a sitting Town Council member, countersigned the checks. The report concluded that the Town Council failed to provide oversight recommended legal action be taken.

The audit also says that because the finance officer used town funds to make “personal utility payments and other questionable expenses,” it caused the town to lack money to pay for its other bills.

East Laurinburg becomes the eighth government unit under LGC financial control.