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Three Spencer City Employees Charged With Embezzlement

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The city manager said this served as a learning opportunity for daily operations. The city manager said this served as a learning opportunity for daily operations.
SPENCER, Oklahoma -

City employees are accused of stealing money from the city of Spencer. On Friday, three people were charged with embezzlement after a state audit.

Spencer city manager Nicole Mukes said the investigation involved two former employees and one current employee who has been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

"We need to have honest people in those offices. If people aren't honest, we need to get rid of them," said Spencer resident James Berry.

According to court documents, Andrew Thompson, Shenice Huff and Lakeita Barbee abused their city positions and embezzled money.

Thompson was deputy city clerk and was responsible for payroll. He is accused of writing himself four extra paychecks totaling $3881.85 that the city never approved.

Huff was the city clerk and the affidavit stated she wrote herself two extra paychecks for a total of $2395.94 that aren't found in city records.

As the utilities clerk, Barbee is accused of altering records to give herself nine months of free utilities that should have cost $715.32.

"Money changes people, when you get your hands on money, it really changes people," Berry added.

The audit stated there were no internal controls, oversight or checks and balances over the city's accounts.

The city manager said this served as a learning opportunity for daily operations.

"We welcome the opportunity to work with any state agencies in order to help our operations and help us to better serve our citizens," said Mukes.

Mukes said the city did not request the state audit and is not sure of the origin.

The state auditor revealed the findings to the city in March of 2012.

We reached out to all three of the accused for a comment and did not get a response.

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