State police to audit Newsoms’ finances

Published 9:47 am Friday, November 6, 2015

Citing concerns from residents, Newsoms town council member Joseph Stewart has requested the Virginia State Police to perform an independent investigation into the town’s finances. Stewart said he expects to have the audit at the council’s December meeting.

“The people are concerned about where the town’s money is going,” he said during Monday evening’s meeting. “There are things that just don’t add up.”

For example, Stewart named the payment of $1,035 to Crowder and White Contracting to place gravel around the town hall, despite the fact that council was told that it would be done free of charge. He also explained that the town has only $191.95 in its bank account, but still finds ways to pay town attorney Tim Drewry $125 per hour.

“The secrecy has got to stop,” Stewart said, directing his comments at town secretary Ruth Dunn. “It needs to be handled properly. All I want is the truth.”

Stewart also pleaded with those in attendance for patience as the audit may not be finished as quickly as they would like.

“I hope that nobody took any money or did anything wrong, but we’re going to find out,” he said.

Dunn, who handles the finances for the town, meanwhile, told The Tidewater News on Wednesday that she doesn’t know why she is the one on Stewart’s radar.

“I don’t know where this is coming from,” she said. “Nothing is missing. There’s never been anything wrong with the books. I haven’t hid nothing for anybody.”