DUNCAN, Okla. — A fairgrounds official in southern Oklahoma collected more than $15,000 in unauthorized pay and gave unapproved discounts to select vendors, according to a state audit.
Stephens County Fairgrounds Director Mike Anderson received full compensation for working “less than his hourly full-time status allows,” the report states.
The audit concluded that Anderson was hired to work a 40-hour work week, but possibly misled personnel from the fairgrounds, the county and other officials on the terms of his contract. The state reviewed Anderson’s time sheets that showed a salary based on a 35-hour work week. He also received overtime for reaching 40 hours.
The report’s findings also show that unauthorized discounts were given for horse stall rentals resulting in more than $23,000 in lost revenue for the county.
“Most generally, we gave discounts to people who had multiyear contracts,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he didn’t intentionally do anything wrong.
“It made it look like I did something fraudulent,” Anderson said. “It was nothing like that.”
Anderson said he had approval for the discounts from the commissioner who oversees the fairgrounds. According to Anderson, David McCarley is the current commissioner.
The Oklahoman newspaper contacted McCarley, but he refused to discuss the audit findings. He said he hadn’t fully reviewed the audit.
“At this time, I will just make no comment,” McCarley said.
State auditors also accuse Anderson of asking a secretary to change the date of a deposit slip, and of submitting inaccurate and incomplete monthly reports to county commissioners.
“It wasn’t like I was trying to do anything fraudulent,” Anderson said. “I was just going to change the date on it (to make it correct).”
Anderson said the auditors have misconstrued the events that occurred.