Former Parma, Mo. city leaders charged; Galloway releases follow-up audit

Updated: May. 4, 2021 at 4:25 PM CDT
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PARMA, Mo. (KFVS) - Missouri’s state auditor said leaders in Parma are making progress after authorities fond $115,000 in missing money, and filed criminal charges against three former city leaders.

According to Nicole Galloway, the follow-up audit showed current city leaders are moving in the right direction.

She said they’ve made the recommended changes in handling city finances and ensured better oversight of city spending.

“There was a serious betrayal of public trust in Parma, and it will take time and a great deal of effort to undo that,” Auditor Galloway said. “This follow-up report shows city officials are moving in the right direction to restore the trust of citizens in local government. I encourage them to continue their work, and my office’s Public Corruption and Fraud Division also will continue working with law enforcement officials as they pursue the criminal charges.”

The initial audit done by Galloway’s office in 2020 found that money was missing and records were falsified to cover it up.

The misappropriations included payroll overpayments and/or improper payments to the mayor, city clerk and city officials, as well as other who were related to the mayor or the city clerk.

Authorities say the mayor and city clerk made improper purchases using prepaid debit cards and the city’s Walmart credit card, including gift cards, appliances, furniture and electronic equipment.

They are accused of falsifying the Board of Alderman minutes and financial reports.

Charges against the former mayor, city clerk and water supervisor were filed.

Former Mayor Tyus Byrd currently facing two counts of forgery and two counts of receiving stolen property.

Former City Clerk Helen Frye faces one count of stealing, two counts of forgery and one count of receiving stolen property.

Former Water Supervisor David Thatch was charged with receiving stolen property.

Court records show both Frye and Thatch will be arraigned on May 11.

Byrd will be back in court on June 8.

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