Muskogee City Council votes to have State audit City spending ahead of upcoming GO bond vote

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — People in Muskogee applauded the City Council on Monday for voting to have the State audit City spending.

It’s a big deal ahead of next month’s bond vote even though they won’t get the results before the vote.

Muskogee residents have been placed in a hard decision with the City’s GO bond, so they asked for a forensic audit to look into the City’s spending.

The City Council agreed to complete a forensic audit on projects dating back a decade.

A $77 million bond being presented that will raise taxes for people living in Muskogee left them concerned, which led some to take matters into their own hands and ask City leaders for a forensic audit.

People in Muskogee have been asking for this audit for quite some time and Muskogee Mayor Patrick Cale said after they presented the need, he agreed it was necessary.

Cale and City Councilor Melody Cranford brought Resolution 3,000 to City Councilors in the special meeting where they would decide if they would follow through with the forensic audit over the following four things:

  • Three Corners Development off Highway 62 and Highway 69.
  • Project Sunshine
  • Shawnee corridor
  • The Downtown Revitalization Multi-Grant Program.

The audit would make sure they were financed and paid for properly, and find out whether there were any conflicts of interest.

Before agreeing, the City Council made a few edits to the resolution.

“To make it clear that the council’s objectives are the same as the concerned citizens of Muskogee, we added language to Resolution 3,000 in this printed copy that was handed out to include the time span of 2014 through 2024. We also included language that the special audit will also include the pertinent trust authorities,” Cale said.

Citizens showed their appreciation through their public comments.

“I would like to thank the City Council for adding those two things to the resolution. It’s a step forward in your promise to promote transparency to the city and I thank you for it,” said Mark Hughes, a Muskogee resident.

Councilors voted on what residents believe is much needed before voting on a multi-million dollar bond.

With a yes vote, the City assured the people of Muskogee that they would get started on the forensic audit as soon as possible.

FOX23 spoke with some residents who said even if the state will now be auditing City spending, they are still planning to get a petition to have an audit done by a private auditor as well.

As of right now, councilors are not delaying that GO bond vote, which is still scheduled for August 27.

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