Did you Know?
In the past 14 months, Oklahoma residents initiated petitions and collected signatures of registered voters to have the state auditor's office investigate local municipalities and school districts. They have 30 days to get 10 percent of the registered voters or 25 percent of the voters who voted in the last election in the school district, city, county or agency to sign the petition. It is the responsibility of the entity being audited to pay the costs of the audit. State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones said any costs that exceed the estimate are paid for by the state.
Steve Miller led a petition drive to have the town of Bernice audited — fueled by concerns over open meetings violations, illegal fines for residents and questionable water bills.
Status: The investigation was completed and released in April and found violations of the Open Meeting Act, $100,000 in illegal fines and problems in the town's water billing process.
Estimated cost: $14,000 to $19,000.
Actual cost: $17,883.
Rattan Public Schools
Petitioners requested the auditor look into the purchase, use and sale of school property.
Status: The investigation was completed and released in July, and none of the petitioners' concerns were substantiated.
Estimated cost: $10,000 to $15,000.
Actual cost: $17,055.
The Cordell Council requested an audit after the initiative petition already had begun.
Status: Completed but not yet released.
Estimated cost: $20,000.
Actual cost (to date): $44,447.
Petitioners requested an audit of the restoration and operation of the Coleman Theatre, possible misuse of federal disaster assistance funds, irregularities in bids and contracts awarded and the city's retirement plan and water resources board.
Status: Field work is almost completed.
Estimated cost: $32,000 to $42,000.
Keith Jones said he started the initiative petition drive out of concern that taxpayer money was being misspent by city officials on increased staff, a new city hall and other unnecessary costs.
Status: Audit began July 25.
Estimated cost: $28,000 to $35,000.
The person behind the initiative petition declined an interview. The audit will look at a number of concerns including bid violations, collusion and conflicts of interest.
Status: Beginning July 30.
Estimated cost: $45,000 to $60,000.
Buddy Thompson collected signatures to have the town audited alleging mismanagement of funds by the mayor, and open meetings violations stemming from denied or delayed requests for the minutes and agendas of council meetings.
Status: Signatures verified; pending assignment.
Estimated cost: $22,000 to $27,000.
The individual who began the petition drive said Thursday he is dropping the effort because of a lack of interest in the town.
Status: Petitions due back Aug. 6.
Failed to obtain a sufficient number of signatures on petition.