Tahlequah records show portions of hotel tax collections were used to pay tourism director

 TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) -- Records show more than half of hotel-motel tax collections sent to the Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce by the city in the past year were used to pay the salary and benefits of the tourism director.

The Tahlequah Daily Press reports the city sent about $95,000 to the chamber and that about $47,000 was used to pay tourism director Kate Kelly's salary, payroll taxes, health insurance, cellphone bill and civic club dues.

Kelly was fired Tuesday with the board saying only that her services are no longer needed.

Kelly told the newspaper she was fired after reporting potential financial problems at the chamber.

The chamber director resigned without explanation June 12 and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said June 17 that it's looking into allegations of embezzlement.

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