State Audit investigation finds missing meeting notes, other concerns with Town of Plymouth


Plymouth Town Hall (Google Maps photo)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCT) — The Office of the State Auditor on Thursday released its findings after it received eight allegations through its hotline, which prompted an investigation.

The 15-page report concluded Town Council did not maintain meeting minutes for some of its meetings in 2020. State Auditor Beth A. Wood listed in her report the following issues:

Missing and incomplete town meeting minutes
“From January through December 2020, minutes were not maintained for 32 of the 51 Town Council meetings. These meeting minutes included regular session, closed session, and special meetings.”

Lack of information released to town residents
“During the June 2, 2020 special meeting, the Town Council allegedly discussed and approved an $8,000 moving allowance for the incoming interim Town Manager. However, this approval could not be verified due to the Town not having the minutes of this meeting.”

Town unable to provide evidence regarding missing and incomplete minutes
“The Town Mayor was unable to provide sufficient evidence to support why the meeting minutes were missing and incomplete. Further, the Town was unable to provide sufficient evidence that meeting minutes were ever prepared and/or maintained.”

In a letter to Wood from Plymouth Mayor Vershumn “Shawn” Hawkins, he stated “the Mayor and Town Council accept responsibility for these problems and have taken necessary steps to avoid them in the future.”

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