Attorney looking into fair funds

Freedom New Mexico

Curry County Attorney Stephen Doerr has taken the lead in the investigation into possible missing county funds, County Manager Lance Pyle said Friday.

Pyle said he would not comment on any other aspect of the investigation, including whether or not there is money missing. He referred all inquiries to Doerr, who did not return calls left at his office and his home.

County officials said last week they were reviewing financial records and had notified state police they may be missing funds.

Pyle said last week the review is focused on county fair revenues.

County Finance Director Mark Lansford said the county made about $148,700 in ticket sales and carnival rides this year, compared to $97,700 in 2006, when heavy rains limited attendance.
County Commission Chairman Albin Smith said Friday he has not received any updates on the review.

“I couldn’t tell you if anything has been found because I don’t know if the investigation’s turned over to the police yet,” he said.

Smith said last week the county approached state police last month after the commission became aware that funds could be missing. He said police were asked as a third party to help account for the money.

Lansford said last week he was conducting an internal review of the funds in question and would turn his findings over to the county manager and attorney sometime this week.

Lansford said Friday that Doerr has advised county officials not to comment on the matter.