Councilwoman accuses Lumpkin police of misusing city funds - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Councilwoman accuses Lumpkin police of misusing city funds

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LUMPKIN, GA (WTVM) -

Lumpkin City Council members, the mayor, and citizens all were all in deep discussion Wednesday night about city money.

Councilwoman Barbara Cullefer spoke up at the meeting, saying the police department spent a little more than $3,000 on additional vehicles, gas, and the city's first National Night Out event, which was supposed to be on the Police Chief's personal dime.

"This was to make people realize we need to watch what we spend and be careful with what we are spending," says Cullefer.

Cullefer says she sifted through invoices from National Night Out that were given to the city clerk. Lumpkin Police Chief Jose Garcia says Cullefer is wrong.

"I funded it completely out of my pocket. The only reason that those bill were turned in is because the mayor told me I had to, but I funded it myself," he says.

Councilwoman Cullefer brought up a number of issues, including an over-populated staff, officer pay, and abuse of city vehicles for personal use. Lumpkin Mayor Charles Gibson responded.

"It makes me really upset that I'm here working my best, my hardest, and then for people to just tear stuff down and don't even acknowledge what is good…"

Chief Garcia is confident the Police Department's books are clean. Both he and Mayor Gibson say they expect there to be more expenses because of the improvements being made in the department.

"We are not doing anything out of the way, we are doing our job. They are out here patrolling, they are out here in uniform and they are out here being productive members of society," Garcia said.

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