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Hughenden Council pledges to investigate clerk's fraud further
COUNCILLORS agreed there needs to be a thorough investigation to determine how a former clerk managed to siphon money from parish accounts.
At last night's Hughenden Parish Council meeting councillors spoke about how Lynne Turner, who resigned as clerk in June 2011, managed to siphon £28,200 from the parish accounts into her own.
The 50-year-old from Tancred Road, High Wycombe was jailed last month after being found guilty of ten counts of fraud.
Turner transferred the money from August 2010 to May 2011.
The court heard at a finance committee meeting in April 2011 Turner had marked £21,900 in money she had transferred as "cash in transit".
It was left by the then councillors for Turner to investigate further. The accounts were signed off in May for the new council.
A new council, with nine new councillors, took over in May 2011 and Turner had continued to transfer a further £6,000, before she resigned.
It was the new clerk who noticed the discrepancy.
Cllr Phil Conran said he would like to find out from the previous council how that £21,900 came to be approved in the end of year accounts.
Member of the public Roger Hewitt said the council need to get someone in to do a thorough investigation.
Cllr Brian Swain said: "I think the information which has been put forward is a bit too great for us... I think we know that something should have been picked up.
"We know it was because of the competence at the time and the proceeds at the time that it wasn't picked up."
Dennis Hackling said he wants to know why the information was not handed to the new council.
Former council chairman Peggy Ewart spoke from the public gallery. She said: "I wanted to clarify a particular point about the £21,000 not being reported to the new council.
"The figures were done at the end of April and looked at again in May because that is the procedure we have to follow in order to sign accounts before a new council has taken over.
"Councillor Konieczny, who remained on the council, was present at the meeting when that £21,000 was identified.
"He knew it and we didn't have to inform the new council."
Mr Konieczny resigned as chairman last month.
But Cllr Ed Furness said the minutes from the meeting she talks about do not reflect what she says.
Mrs Ewart said there were notes attached to the minutes.
It was agreed the clerk would seek advice from organisations that could give guidance on fraud and the related legal issues.