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State withholding thousands of dollars from Webberville

Posted at 7:45 PM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 20:35:56-05

LANSING, Mich. — The state is withholding almost $700,000 from a small town in Mid-Michigan because it's audits aren't getting done on time.

On Tuesday, the Treasury Department told Fox 47 Webberville has long-standing financial and operational issues.

The state says those problems go all the way back to 2012.

The most recent audit is being "disclaimed," which means it's impossible for the Treasury Department to even form an opinion on Webberville's finances.

Dan Norton, former Webberville councilmember said, "I'm a little in shock. That can't be happening. That doesn't make any sense."

People in Webberville are surprised to hear their small town has some big financial problems.

Eight straight annual audits were either submitted late, "disclaimed," or not done at all.

Now, the Michigan Treasury Department is withholding more than $600,000 in state funding until everything gets sorted out.

Norton used to be on the village council. He said he never saw any red flags.

"Everything was fine. Everything seemed alright. There weren't any questions of funds or anything like that. It seemed very organized."

Village President Brad Hitchcock told Fox 47 some of the information the state released is inaccurate.

He said Webberville switched auditors, which resulted in some confusion over the numbers.

Norton says that doesn't answer all the questions.

"Well right now, I'm second-guessing everything. I mean if this is going on. If this is real. What else is going on?"

Hitchcock says more information will be given by March 1.

The state is withholding $544,000 from the "Michigan Transportation Fund" and another $97,000 in revenue sharing.

That money is typically used to pay for things like police and fire departments.

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