Cordell mayor pledges to work for free after critical state audit

Mayor Alex Damon said he was surprised by parts of a state audit report released Thursday, but that he will volunteer his time as mayor, acting city administrator and general manager of the city's utilities trust while the district attorney investigates.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD zcampfield@opubco.com Published: January 26, 2013
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The audit revealed Damon collected as much as $30,500 between 2007 and 2012 by working as “acting” city manager for Cordell in addition to collecting his mayoral salary. He also received as much as $230,000 in his capacity as general manager of the city's utilities trust during the same time.

State law prohibits an elected official from collecting a salary from a government position beyond the scope of his elected duties.

According to auditors, Damon recommended the council hire him as acting city administrator, cast the tiebreaking vote to terminate the search for a new city administrator, and then resigned from the utilities trust so he could be rehired as its general manager.

Auditors also estimated he collected $32,000 in taxable travel reimbursements between 2007 and 2011 that were never reported to state or federal tax agencies and said he paid himself $10,400 in grant funds after designating himself the city's grant coordinator.

Auditors noted in several instances that Damon provided misleading information and documentation during the course of the investigation.

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