- Associated Press - Friday, April 25, 2014

DELHI, La. (AP) - Richland Parish Sheriff Lee Harrell says he will not launch a formal investigation into Delhi Mayor Lynn Lewis‘ handling of the town’s finances.

Four Delhi aldermen requested in a letter that the sheriff investigate Lewis for reported violations of the state’s budget laws. Harrell tells The News-Star (http://tnsne.ws/1hvLJjW ) he reviewed the allegations with state police, the District Attorney’s Office and the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office and decided not to investigate.

“There was nothing there that appears to be criminal at this time,” Harrell said. “If you look at the letter, a lot of things they cite has already been responded to.”

Aldermen Larry Rancher, Bob Benson, Henry Washington and Caroline Christman signed a letter asking for the investigation after several projects ran over budget. They also claimed they were not given access to the town’s financial documents.

Washington later said he didn’t know what he was signing and he’d never seen the mayor break the law.

Lewis said he was grateful Harrell wasn’t pursuing the investigation and maintains he did nothing illegal. He said the budgeted items would have been corrected had the Board of Aldermen simply met to adjust the budget, which is normally a routine practice.

“This same group had the legislative auditor come in two years ago over these same issues, and at that time the legislative auditor said this was a waste of time and taxpayer money,” Lewis said. “Our audit came back clean, but the (board) doesn’t think that’s right.”

“This same group had the legislative auditor come in two years ago over these same issues, and at that time the legislative auditor said this was a waste of time and taxpayer money,” Lewis said. “Our audit came back clean, but the (board) doesn’t think that’s right.”

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Information from: The News-Star, http://www.thenewsstar.com

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