This first state audit for the village of Centertown is underway.
Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway announced Tuesday her office has started work on the audit after receiving a petition with 60 signatures. Fifty-two signatures are required.
The city has a population of less than 300.
"I was one of those who signed the petition," Lucas Welch, chairman of Centertown's Board of Trustees, said. "The petition was going around before the election last year. Myself and two others were elected as write-in candidates for the board. Citizens didn't feel like there was enough transparency with members of the old board, so once we got elected we have done everything to be as transparent as possible."
Welch said he couldn't get into specifics about why the audit was requested, and neither could officials with the auditor's office. They did confirm the audit was being done over concerns of the operation of the village government and how finances were being handled.
"We welcome it being done," Welch said. "There have been a lot of rumors about what had been happening with the board, so we want to clear those up. It's probably past due for an audit to be done."
Officials with the auditor's office said it's hard to estimate when they will finish the audit. They did say they would meet with the petitioners and village officials as well as residents to hear their concerns, develop a scope of operation and move forward.
Individuals with information related to the audit are encouraged to contact the State Auditor's Whistleblower Hotline at 800-347-8597, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by using the online submission form at auditor.mo.gov/hotline. Callers may choose to remain anonymous.