CASS COUNTY, Mo. — After an independent audit confirms his findings, the Cass County Auditor is speaking out. He says in 2010, the Cass County Commission spent a lot of money and now has little to show for it.
Auditor Ron Johnson claims commissioners may have violated procedure. On October 3, 2011, Johnson says he gave a formal letter titled “From Prosperity to Bankruptcy in Cass County” to the commission. It outlines two failed projects to build a new biofuel run generator at the justice center and a project to bring broadband internet service to rural parts of the county. He says he brought his concerns to commissioners and they ignored them.
Taxpayers and the county auditor want justice.
“As a county, they did anything they wanted and they went ahead and they went forward with projects without public support or vote on any of it,” said Cass County Auditor Ron Johnson.
He says the commission over spent $2 million and pulled an additional $1 million from the county emergency account. On top of that, he says big money was spent on two big projects with little to show for it.
“We have contractors that we have paid dollars to many millions of dollars to that we have not received goods for what we need to do is we need to progress forward we need to take action with the parties involved,” Johnson said.
An outside audit shows $800,000 was spent in building a new biofuel run generator at the Cass County Justice Center with no work to show for it. Johnson says an additional million dollars was spent on rural broadband service with no results.
“We haven’t put one foot of cable on the ground yet or in the air, I’m just talking about engineering,” he said.
Only one commissioner who was in office in 2010 is still in the office now. Presiding commissioner Terry Wilson was appointed by the governor four months ago.
“I’m troubled by the findings. I think there were situations where proper procedures weren’t followed and it’s a major concern and we are addressing that,” Wilson said.
Johnson says the people’s trust has been broken.
“We waited too long to pursue justice for the people of Cass County and in my humble opinion it is due it is needed and we need to get the coffers of Cass County built back up,” Johnson said.
Johnson says commissioners broke the law bidding contracts among others. He’s passed along his findings to the Department of Justice.