A forensic audit of the Town of Hennessey began on Tuesday, October 10th. The audit is being conducted by the State Auditor and Inspector’s office, upon the request of District Attorney Mike Fields of Enid. During the regular town board meeting, Thursday, October 12th Administrator Tiffany Tillman expressed her satisfaction at seeing them present, as accusations of wrongdoing have been directed at her office.
District Attorney Fields stated that he requested the audit after receiving a report from another state agency, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The preliminary inquiry conducted by the agency raised concerns about possible financial irregularities in the Town of Hennessey. A letter from State Auditor & Inspector Cindy Byrd, dated October 10, was shared with the board, informing them that monthly invoices for the audit cost would be sent to the town to cover the cost of the audit.
Tillman mentioned that the audit will cover records from the past five years, with auditors examining items over three-month periods. When asked about the duration of the audit, Tillman indicated that it could take months, as auditors are currently finalizing work in other towns. The cost of the audit will be paid by the town, although Tillman was unsure of the exact estimate.
Mick Dodson, the general counsel for the Auditor & Inspector’s Office, is one of two staff members assigned to the audit. In a previous meeting, Dodson had informed the trustees that the audit could cost the town $75,000 and would require six months to complete. It is important to note that while the town undergoes a yearly financial audit, the forensic audit specifically focuses on identifying financial misconduct by employees or officers of the organization. This marks Dodson’s second trip to Hennessey, following Trustee David Jones reaching out to the auditor’s office for assistance in obtaining financial and other records.
Tillman resigned and then was rehired August 29th. David Jones voted against the re-hire and contract of Mrs. Tillman and Harold Shaw left the meeting without voting. Since the rehire, allegations have been flying. During last week’s meeting Starla Fuksa, the interim Town Administrator said “I sent all the findings I gathered to the DA” Harold Shaw also said he had contacted the DA as well.