Former town clerk Massey rehired

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2001

RIDGECREST, La. – Judy Massey, Ridgecrest’s town clerk from 1987 to 1990, has once again been hired as town clerk.

Massey replaces Pauline Palmer, who resigned March 22 amid allegations that she took $1,840 in town funds.

Since Palmer resigned, Lain, Alderman Kevin Graham and ex-town employee Marilyn Cox, as well as another former town employee who asked that her name not be mentioned, had been running Town Hall.

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Meanwhile, District Director Paul Scott of the Seventh Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Tuesday that an investigation of allegations raised in a legislative auditor’s report released last month is still continuing.

The probe is being done to determine whether there is enough evidence to prosecute Palmer and ex-Mayor David Cobb on charges related to the borrowing of town funds.

The auditor’s report stated that Palmer, town clerk since March 1997, had used $1,840 in town funds to make a personal purchase, used petty cash for personal purposes and wrote herself checks she was entitled to from town funds. Auditors also could not account for $957 in petty cash.

Palmer repaid the town $195 in 1999 and $20 in 2000, leaving a balance of $1,625 still not paid to the town.

Palmer also issued payroll checks to herself in advance 71 times and claimed overtime on 70 of those occasions but did not document hours worked, according to the report.

The report also stated that in December 1998, Cobb borrowed $92 from the town’s petty cash but has since repaid the money.

Palmer and Cobb could be charged with malfeasance in office and unauthorized use of a movable and violation of Article 7, Section 14 of the Louisiana Constitution, which prohibits such loans from public funds, according to the report.