September 19, 2023 |

Photo – Medicine Bow Town Sign – Bigfoot99 file photo

Officials in the Town of Medicine Bow are still waiting for an update from the state on the town’s finances.

Earlier this year, the newly installed Medicine Bow town council began the process of auditing the town’s finances. According to the council members, years of mismanagement and a failure to update the accounting software at Town Hall has left Medicine Bow with no idea of how much money is available in the budget. The auditing company must have seen something suspicious when reviewing the town’s finances because the state of Wyoming became involved. Council members have said that the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigations took dozens of boxes of financial records from the town’s offices at the end of June.

During the September 11th Medicine Bow town council meeting, residents asked Town Attorney Cameron Smith if he was legally able to provide an update on the investigation. Smith said he had no new information, despite numerous calls to DCI.

Earlier this year, Medicine Bow officials hired a Denver-based auditing company to begin examining the town’s finances. When the state stepped in, the auditing company was forced to turn over all the town’s records. Mayor Bradley Buum said the town has not been updated on the investigation’s progress and will not have any additional information until it is concluded.

Medicine Bow town hall staff said they lost all the passwords needed to access the various computer programs required to run the town. A resident suggested the password book may have been taken by the state. Councilman Justin George said the problem could be solved if the town had backup information. Councilwoman Kahl said DCI took over a dozen boxes of financial records, as well as an unknown amount of other town documents.

Later in the same meeting, Public Works Director Brian Lashley requested $2,000 to repair the town’s sewage pumping truck. The public works department has its own discretionary funding and isn’t required to ask for council approval for any purchase of less than $4,999.99. Lashley said his request was purely to update the council on any potential spending. Councilman George thanked the public works director for seeking council approval before making the purchase because the town doesn’t know how much money is actually available.

Town officials said the audit was scheduled to be completed within a year. With DCI’s involvement, the town is embroiled in an active criminal investigation with no idea of when it will end.

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