NewsLocal News


AUDIT REQUEST: Muskogee City Council set to ask state for audit

Posted at 9:21 PM, Jul 03, 2024

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Leaders in Muskogee announced they want to move forward with a forensic audit.

A group of citizens has called for this kind of audit for a while. Now, the city plans to deliver on their wishes.

A group's negative feelings toward the city are rooted in a belief that Muskogee mismanaged money ,or dealt with shady characters, in the midst of four projects involving the Shawnee Corridor, the ‘Three Corners’ development, ‘Project Sunshine’ and Downtown revitalization efforts.

“Legitimate questions...legitimate concerns. Happy to answer ‘em,” Mayor Patrick Cale said at a press conference announcing the decision.

Cale, agreeing the concerns are legitimate. However, he says, the city’s request of the audit is not an indicator that the city is concerned.

“These citizens have a concern. And I’m not sure how they picked out their subject matter or why they made the decisions as to what they thought oughta be looked at,” Cale said.

In a special meeting, set for July 8, the city council will consider a resolution requesting an audit from the state.

“Why is the city just now asking for an audit? We’ve had a citizen petition led audit out for two weeks now,” Mark Hughes said.

Hughes is part of a group who called for an audit in the first place. City Councilor Melody Cranford said the request for an audit is a win for Hughes and his group.

“This is about transparency. This is about us agreeing to the audit. And today should be a day for us to be celebrated, not for us to argue,” Cranford said.

As for the delay, Cranford says that is just the nature of government. Things take time. This is coming at a cost to the city. Leaders estimate they will pay the state $40,000 - $80,000.

City leaders seem set on satisfying these wishes of concerned citizens. Leaders will spend thousands of dollars to audit areas in which they aren’t worried.

Still, Mark Hughes says, he feels like he’s been “stabbed in the back by the city councilors.”

City leaders say if any malfeasance is found in the audit, they will do whatever is necessary to resolve it.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere --