AUDIT REPORT: Martin County gave several salary increases without timely budget amendment to follow

MARTIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -A county in the east is once again the topic of discussion after an audit report showed there was a noncompliance with the state’s budget amendment rules for the fiscal year 2023.

The Martin County Board of Commissioners has been under fire by residents for months as many have searched for answers surrounding several alleged pay raises to former County Manager James Bennett.

Some wondered if the situation was connected to the budget amendment issues presented in the county’s audit report Wednesday night.

The audit report for the fiscal year 2023 was presented at the Board of Commissioners meeting by Madonna Stafford of Carr, Riggs, and Ingram CPAs and Advisors.

The audit report showed that the county was mostly compliant, except for when it came to doing budget amendments in a timely manner.

The report says there were several salary increases without a budget amendment to follow. Those in attendance, were in shock as Stafford voiced concerns about the issue.

“Some of these ended up being fairly large numbers so in effect it really didn’t allow management to properly manage the budget throughout the year because the information wasn’t being maintained accurately and timely,” Stafford said. “I would suggest to make sure we’re doing budget amendments timely.”

“Obviously, it was a little bit surprising to hear it come up in this audit,” said Martin County resident, Heber Coltrain. “The auditors were concerned about it too and they noted that there were some large salary increases.”

The results from the audit report have some questioning if the salary increases mentioned were the alleged seven pay raises Bennett received.

Stay with us as we continue to follow this developing story.

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