Mannsville in turmoil after treasurer indicted - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Mannsville in turmoil after treasurer indicted

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Mannsville treasurer Shonda Barnes was indicted after a state auditor reviewed the town's finances. (KTEN) Mannsville treasurer Shonda Barnes was indicted after a state auditor reviewed the town's finances. (KTEN)

MANNSVILLE, Okla.  -- This is a town in turmoil, where Mannsville treasurer Shonda Barnes has now been charged with embezzlement after a lengthy investigation.

Tens of thousands of dollars could be unaccounted for, according to an audit the state released in September.

On Wednesday, Johnston County District Attorney Craig Ladd accused Barnes of misusing more than $4,000 of state grant funding. Ladd said Barnes sought and received reimbursement money for the cost of electrical equipment at the fire station even though that equipment had not been purchased.

Mannsville Volunteer Fire Department Chief Derek Gray -- who is related to Barnes -- said it was all a misunderstanding.

"I think it's pretty... laughable, really," he said. "It's an honest mistake. I am positive things will turn around and everything will be worked out."

KTEN reached out to Barnes but received no reply. She did post to Facebook on Wednesday conceding that while  "I am ultimately responsible" for the error, the charges were the result of  "a mistake and an oversight.."

She goes on to say that some emails from the Southern Oklahoma Development Association -- which provided the funds in question -- were sent to the wrong email address, and she did not see them.

"Thank you [town trustee] Garry Glidewell and [Mannsville resident] Stacee [sic] Hartwell Helm for keeping the invoices until the deadline was over," Barnes added.

KTEN sought comment from both Helm and Glidewell on Thursday, but never heard back. On Facebook, Helm denied knowledge of any invoices, adding that Barnes is "an excellent liar!"

We asked Gray -- who is related to Barnes -- about the emails.

"The Department of Commerce sent us an email to an old city email address," he said. "Somebody has got access to an old city email. And they posted it on their Rants and Raves site the day after the deadline to reply back to them."

On November 29,  an apparent copy of that email's text was posted on the Mannsville City Hall Rants and Raves page by Glidewell.

We also asked the Southern Oklahoma Development Association when the deadline to reply was, but did not get an answer due to the holiday weekend.

Shonda Barnes has a court appearance set for next Thursday.

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