- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 12, 2019

HERMANN, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri audit says a sheriff’s office used an unauthorized account to make inappropriate purchases, including nearly $800 for a replica Wyatt Earp revolver.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway on Monday released results of a Gasconade County audit that found that former Sheriff Randy Esphorst maintained a separate, unauthorized fund and used it to buy groceries, provide bonuses in violation of the Missouri Constitution and make other questionable payments.

Among them: $786 for a pawn shop purchase of a replica pistol based on the revolver used by Earp as depicted in the movie “Tombstone.”

Esphorst told auditors he didn’t buy the gun and knew nothing about it. Sheriff John Romanus, who took office in 2017 after Esphorst retired, told auditors he’d never seen it.

Romanus says he is implementing recommended changes.

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