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Aug 28, 2013 7:48 PM by Akeam Ashford

State Auditor Recommends Arnaudville Resolve Issues

State officials are demanding changes from leaders in the town of Arnaudville after receiving a complaint from residents there.

Representatives of the Louisiana Legislative Auditor's office visited the town, reiterating problems noted in previous audits that needed to be fixed.

Among other allegations, the state auditor found:

-- A lack of written policies and procedures for the town's financial/business operations.

-- Inadequate controls over town and police department vehicle usage (e.g., no milage logs documenting vehicle usage).

-- Lack of controls over fuel (e.g., fuel tanks not locked at all times; fuel usage recorded in logs not reconciled with the tank meter readings).

-- Lack of controls over the payroll, purchasing, and disbursements functions (e.g, signature stamp and blank checks not adequately safeguarded).

-- Town's budget ordinance for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, did not contain all elements required by state law (louisiana Revised Statue 39:1305).

-- Lack of controls over employee time and attendance (e.g., reviews and approvals not documented).

Since some of the police department's actions are in question, we went to ask questions from Arnaudville Police Chief Richard Mizzi

Mizzi is the only full-time elected official in Arnaudville, but wasn't at the police department.

We found him next door, at his home.

He refused to speak on camera, but did talk to KATC.

"I don't do politics, but this town needs help," Mizzi said. "I found out I have enough time to retire, so in two weeks I won't be here anymore."

The audit is just the latest in troubles for the police chief. Jamie Huval, an Arnaudville resident, is leading a petition drive to recall Chief Mizzi from office.

"We're about 80 percent done." Huval says. "One of the biggest problems we're having is people are kind of scared to sign because they're afraid of retaliation."

Even with Mizzi's threat to retire early, Huval says he won't stop gathering signatures until the resignation letter reaches the Secretary of State's office.

"Our original goal was to be finished by next week, and that's still our goal," says Huval. "We will not quit this."

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