Mason, TN, officials work to fix financial mess

(WMC-TV) - Drivers heading into Mason see that it is a good place to live.  But it has not been a good place when it comes to managing taxpayers dollars.

"It is alarming and it was serious and I know I needed to take some action about it," says West Tennessee District Attorney Mike Dunavant.

For nearly a month now, residents in Mason, Tennessee, have been wondering what's up with the town's finances.

Nearly $100,000 was stolen by a town employee over a two year period.

Back in 2009, a state audit revealed that the money had been stolen by the former town clerk.

That clerk, Arnita Mitchell, was arrested and charged with several crimes.

"Computer fraud, felony theft, forgery, and official misconduct and she was ordered to reimburse the town for that restitution," says Dunavant.

In a series of recent letters between local and state officials, Mason leaders promised to rectify the situation.

"They have looked into hiring a certified financial officer to run matters for the town and purchased new software to run the books," he adds.

Officials say the tiny town will get their hundred thousand dollars back in whatever way possible.

"The comptroller's office will continue to demand these requirements and they will perhaps come back with an investigative audit with findings that could be turned over to me for either indictment or ouster proceedings," Dunavant continues.

Mason Mayor David Ward didn't want to go on camera but told Action News Five by phone he's working hard to fix this financial mess and he's working very hard to do what's right for the town.

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