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State audit finds former Fayette town clerk misappropriated over $300,000 over 9 years; over 12 percent of town’s budget

Posted at 11:41 AM, Jan 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-23 23:54:28-05

FAYETTE — The Utah State Auditor has found that the former town clerk of Fayette misappropriated over $300,000 over a nine year period.

The auditor's office released its Special Project Report on Fayette Town Wednesday.

It found that the former clerk, Tracy Kay Mellor, misappropriated the funds between February 2009 and February 2018.

The amount she misappropriated amounts to over 12 percent of the Sanpete County town's budget.

The audit discovered Mellor misappropriated over $97,000 by issuing checks to herself, and nearly $230,000 by issuing checks to a company she and her husband own.

The audit also found Mellor took over $2,000 by issuing checks that were blank or made to cash and over $2,500 through improper reimbursements that were added to her payroll checks.

It appears Mellor also received a new water hook-up valued at $1,000 for which she did not pay.

The audit was requested when new mayor, Brenda Liefson, noticed problems with the town's books.

The audit also found that former town officials failed to provide adequate oversight.

Mellor was arrested on July 5 and booked into the Sanpete County jail.

At that time, Mellor was charged with nine counts of misusing public funds.

The felony counts could have landed Mellor in prison, but she pleaded guilty to three counts last November.

She was ordered to spend 45 days in jail, 36 months probation, and to pay restitution of $153,389.89. That's the amount she was accused of taking because the rest took place so long ago the statute of limitations prevented pursuing charges.

Here's a link if you'd like to read the entire audit.