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A matter involving unauthorized loans to Gaston town employees by a former clerk has been turned over to the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, police Chief C.L. Dixon confirmed today.

He said the SBI will conduct a forensic audit of the matter as directed by the North Carolina Office of the State Auditor.

Findings in the state audit released last week included the discovery that the clerk abused her position by authorizing loans to town employees and herself totaling $39,072.

The clerk in question is no longer employed by the town.

Other findings in the audit include:

The clerk obtained $4,410 in unallowed vacation pay

The clerk commingled personal and town funds

A town commissioner purchased used town equipment for approximately $2,700 below fair market value

Town officials failed to safeguard assets

Gaston Town Attorney Geoffrey Davis said in an August 11 letter to the North Carolina Office of the State Auditor that the town does not dispute any of the findings.