Sunnyside misallocating funds

Sunnyside misallocating funds »Play Video
SUNNYSIDE, Wash. -- The city of Sunnyside is now more than $600,000 in debt. Washington state auditors found several problems with the city's finances.

They said that the city 's poor monitoring and timely record keeping were a likely cause for the significant drop in funds. Also, money was being used from restricted funds like utilities and being applied the general fund. The city also lacked policies on cost allocation. Auditors found that poor oversight in payroll such as employees being overpaid and receiving extra vacation time.

"Not a good way to run a business and were improving on that lots of proactive improvements that we've been taking about here are being implemented. We're tracking expenses better and I'm looking forward to regular monthly financial reports," said Council Member Jason Raines.

The interim city manager said the city does have a system finances director that reviews payments to make sure that they are correct. Payroll is now being reviewed and other departments are receiving budgets so they can be monitored more closely.

"We're making everybody more aware that these are public dollars and we have to make sure that everything we do it correct.There's significant changes that were going to be making in the future. Again making sure the accountability is there and people understand it because our success is basically the trust of the people and your money and that's what were doing," said Interim City Manager Frank Sweet.

State auditors agree that there are lots of changes that need to be made. They want to give the city of Sunnyside ample time to address the issues in the report. They say the earliest they would perform another financial report for the city would be next spring.