Pulaski County administrator responds to claims of fraud in recent audit

Pulaski residents are looking for more transparency from their local government

The third-party audit review showed adjustments and items missing from the ledgers which left people worried about where their tax dollars are going.

PULASKI COUNTY, Va. – Conversations got heated at Monday night’s Pulaski County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The issue sparked when residents questioned the county’s 2021 audit, which showed adjustments and items missing from ledgers.

Now, people are worried about where their tax dollars are going.

“We are concerned citizens who want answers. We don’t blindly accept what you say when the audit clearly shows mismanagement of money,” said one resident, Ashley Bowman.

People are searching for answers from County Administrator, Jonathan Sweet, the man they are blaming for the audit discrepancies.

On Monday night, Sweet read a letter from the auditor, which he requested clarification after claims of fraud and lack of transparency began circulating online.

“We did not find evidence of fraud or embezzlement based on the procedures that were performed,” Sweet read from the auditor’s letter.

Sweet believed the questions about fraud were a personal attack on him and his family.

“There’s no evidence or morsel of concern there. Unfortunately, if you look at Facebook, this feels personal or political,” Sweet said.

But the people questioning the audit during the meeting said they’re trying to hold their local leaders accountable.

“I hope that it encourages you to fix the communication. We want transparency with this board,” said one resident, Hazel Wines.

One way they’re asking for transparency is a live stream of board meetings.

Meetings are streamed by the local newspaper, Southwest Times, but not by the county.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.