Spring LakeFollowing a State Auditor's Office report about the misappropriation of funds in Spring Lake, the Local Government Commission (LGC) will officially step in to avoid payment processing problems.

Following the release of the audit report, Interim Town Manager Samantha Wullenwaber was fired by the city. According to the LGC, Wullenwaber had the authority to sign checks and her abrupt dismissal left the town with limited options to perform that function.

During a special meeting on Wednesday, March 23, the LGC voted to retain David Erwin as the town's finance officer and appointed Tiffany Anderson and Susan McCullen as deputy finance officers. All three are State and Local Government Finance Division employees. Erwin was retained as account signatory. Anderson and McCullen also were named account signatories. These appointees should ensure that checks go out on time.

The Board of Alderman held their own closed session meeting the following night. While the board took no formal action and nothing was voted on, a new interim town manager was announced. The board agreed to hire Joe Durham from Joe Durham and Associates.

Additionally, Spring Lake's town attorney, Jonathan Charleston, submitted his resignation on Wednesday, March 23.

According to the LGC, in Charleston's letter to Spring Lake Mayor Kia Anthony, he expressed appreciation for the opportunity to work with the board.

"While we have worked with the town through several challenges, we believe now is a good time to transition to new counsel," Charleston's letter stated, as recounted by the LGC.

Charleston has provided a 30-day notice, but he said he "can accommodate a sooner departure with the town's express consent," according to the LGC.

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