WHITE CASTLE, LA (WAFB) - The mayor of White Castle answered questions Monday concerning an audit into his city that says he and his staff made some costly errors.
Linda Hasten has lived in White Castle for more than 60 years, and she was surprised by the findings of an audit into the city's finances for the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
The documents, filed by an independent accounting firm in Baton Rouge, claim that the city made multiple, costly mistakes. Among them, a $3,500 travel reimbursement for Mayor Gerald Williams which they said may have violated a city ordinance.
The audit also said the town had improperly allowed the mayor, a town council member, and two town employees to go past due on paying their utility bills.
What made Hasten most angry was the finding that citizens were overbilled for natural gas by a total of around $90,000.
"The cost of utilities has risen above the amount that any low-income individual, anybody with a plan, could pay for," Hasten said.
"We had some bumps and bruises, but we've conquered those. We've overcame those obstacles," Williams said.
The mayor remains optimistic despite the audit's findings. He said his department addressed all of the issues, including the overbilling.
"We've solved that. We've credited our citizens. We've done everything. We've complied with everything, so we've done everything that they thought was bad, we've done everything to make it good," Williams said.
In regards to the other issues including the ordinance and mileage reimbursement, Williams add that "the council, my staff, legal, and accounting teams have already crossed those hurdles."