Associated Press

SPARTA, Mo. (AP) – A state audit gives the southwest Missouri city of Sparta the lowest possible rating of “poor.”

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway released the findings Wednesday. Residents of the small Christian County town petitioned for the audit in 2015.

Issues cited included police department overspending, high turnover and incomplete financial records. The audit also found that budgets were published late and with inaccuracies.

The audit laid blame at city leadership, saying the Board of Aldermen “failed to adequately monitor the city’s budget, cash balances, and other transactions of the city.” Galloway says city leadership appeared to know there were problems but not the depth of those problems.

Sparta is working to pare its bank accounts from 20 down to eight, which Galloway called a “definite start.”

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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