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Baker faces state scrutiny over audit

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BAKER - The city of Baker has a financial mess on its hands after a new company they hired could not complete the yearly audit required by state law.

Now Baker's facing scrutiny from the state, after the audit could not be finished because of incomplete financial records.

"Yes, we do take it very seriously because audit law wasn't followed," said Joy Irwin, director of local government services with the Legislative Auditor's Office.

The report said the city did not balance financial records and did not provide statements to the Baker City Council quick enough.

"It's very important for the council to get periodical financial information accurately and timely, so they can make good decisions," Irwin said. "And auditors said they were not able to provide the statements."

Another issue involved the purchase of a police cruiser at a price of $37,000. The report said the city may have violated public bidding laws with that purchase. Mayor Harold Rideau said that issue has been taken care of.

"That was a discrepancy and it was cleared up," Rideau said. "Chief furnished that info to the auditor."

The other issues have not yet been resolved and Mayor Rideau took the blame for the errors.

"I'm the mayor and I take full responsibility for the actions," Rideau said. "But we're in the process of correcting it and we'll have it corrected."

The Legislative Auditor's Office said the City of Baker submitted an action plan to complete their audit.



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