State Auditor Nicole Galloway issued the statement below, following criminal charges of wire fraud and theft filed against Tracey Ray by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri. Ray is the former clerk of the City of Center in Ralls County; a recent state audit found she had misappropriated more than $300,000 in taxpayer funds and used them to pay personal credit cards and other personal expenses.
"My audit detailed egregious abuses by the former clerk, which included using taxpayers' dollars to pay for concert tickets and vacations in Branson, Colorado and Las Vegas. When public officials betray citizens' trust through criminal acts, they must be held accountable. I appreciate the work of local and federal law enforcement officials and my office is committed to assist in any way necessary as this case moves forward to ensure that there is justice for taxpayers."