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November 28, 2022

North Carolina treasurer calls for audit of Goldsboro’s finances

Goldsboro, home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, touts the best barbecue in eastern North Carolina, but State Treasurer Dale Folwell said the city might be heading toward financial chaos.

Folwell is calling on State Auditor Beth Wood to do a full audit of the city’s books. Folwell said Goldsboro has not submitted an audit for the past two fiscal years, and its 2019 audit contained some discrepancies.

“Hardworking Goldsboro taxpayers deserve to know their elected and appointed officials uphold the highest standards as stewards of public funds. That confidence is lacking at this point, so I am asking State Auditor Beth Wood to investigate the city’s books and financial statements,” Folwell said. “We stand ready, willing and able to assist her staff, the city administration and elected officials in this process and to make sure all records are properly preserved for examination.”

Located in Wayne County southeast of Raleigh, Goldsboro has more than 34,000 residents. It currently is under the watchful eye of the state’s Local Government Commission (LGC), which monitors the finances of local government units and approves borrowing for the units after determining whether they can afford to repay the debt. Goldsboro has made the LGC’s Unit Assistance List of problematic local government units.

Goldsboro officials have not submitted the city’s financial audits for 2020 and 2021. State officials said it also has a pattern dating back to 2016 of filing the audits late.

Folwell, who heads the LGC, said Goldsboro’s 2019 audit had multiple bookkeeping adjustments. He said significant adjustments could be a sign of “major weaknesses in day-to-day fiscal management.”

Deputy Treasurer Sharon Edmundson warned the Goldsboro City Council about the overdue audits this week. She stressed that the city would not be able to borrow money with the outstanding audits.

“The longer audits are missing, the higher the odds are that there are internal financial control issues,” Folwell said. “If there are internal control issues, the potential for waste, fraud and abuse increases.”

In an email statement late Wednesday afternoon, Goldsboro City Manager Tim Salmon said the city had not received “communication” from Wood’s office regarding an audit.

“If and when we do, the city is fully committed to addressing all concerns,” Salmon said.

This article was originally posted on North Carolina treasurer calls for audit of Goldsboro’s finances