- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 24, 2015

RYAN, Okla. (AP) - Many residents in the town of Ryan are upset after their power was cut off amid an embezzlement scandal involving the town’s former treasurer.

KWSO-TV (https://bit.ly/1TcQxQ7 ) reports that a state audit showed the former treasurer took as much as $94,000 out of customers’ utility bill payments when she was in office from April 2013 until she resigned July 2015.

Officials told residents to bring documentation of their utility payments to City Hall by Nov. 10, so their accounts could be made current. Those who did not make the deadline would have their power cut.

Ryan Mayor Terry Grantham says the situation is difficult because they do not know who has paid their bills and who hasn’t because of the embezzled funds.

“If they don’t have proof that they have paid their bills and a receipt, which many of them don’t, that is where the difficult time comes with our people. We have had to give them the benefit of the doubt on everything,” Grantham said.

According to the mayor, the town had a two signature approval process with bills, payments and other allocations of funds to be signed off on by the treasure and the mayor. During the former treasurer’s time in office, there documents were approved with a rubber stamp and the mayor’s signature.

The town has been working to pay back bills and the mayor says Ryan has finally broken even with about $40,000 left in the utility fund.

Grantham said “There will be no more stamps in this office as long as I am here, but the fact is just keep a real good control on it from a number of people instead of just one.”

No charges have been filed against the former treasurer.

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Information from: KSWO-TV, https://www.kswo.com


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