HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Why did Bay St. Louis experience unprecedented financial woes in 2014?
The results of a five-month performance review audit, requested by city council, were unveiled at Thursday night's recessed meeting.
State Auditor Sam Atkinson said a breakdown in communications between the mayor and city council caused a lot of the city's problems.
She said the mayor's failure to turn over financial documents to the council in a timely manner made it more difficult for council to make sound decisions when voting on financial matters.
She told the city leaders they must set a budget and stick with it. State law holds them criminally and financially responsible.
"The best way to get information and get communication is to have an honest and open dialog, for them to understand that your not attacking them, that you're needing information to make an informed decision, and I see that in the requests for information and I see that in the types of information that you feel like you're frustrated that you haven't been getting," said Atkinson.
Atkinson acknowledged she has seen improvements in how financial matters are handled by the mayor and his administration.
WLOX spoke with Mayor Fillingame after the report was released. He said some of the details are inaccurate and flawed.