JOHNSON (KFSM) – Authorities are investigating the Johnson mayor concerning theft of city money and potential campaign violations, according to a letter sent to the Washington County Sheriff's Office from the Washington County Prosecutor's Office.
Police Chief Vernon Sisemore notified the Sheriff’s Office of the potentially illegal acts, saying a recording exists of Mayor Buddy Curry instructing city employees not to tell anyone about $200 that went missing out of the Johnson Recorder/Treasurer Office, according to the letter released to 5NEWS from the Sheriff's Office.
Curry also coerced city employees into signing a petition for re-election in City Hall following a City Council meeting, according to the investigation letter dated Sept. 22. That action may constitute a violation of state election laws.
The mayor responded to the allegations Wednesday, saying City Council members sometimes circulate re-election petitions after the meetings. Curry said he believes the investigation is politically-motivated because his mayoral campaign opponent is a member of the local police department.
Curry is seeking re-election to the mayor position. He is opposed by challenger Chris Keeney of the Johnson Police Department. That election is set for Nov. 4.
The mayor fired the police chief Oct. 6, although he did not give a reason in a termination letter. The City Council reinstated Sisemore to the police chief position Tuesday night by a vote of 4-1. One council member chose not to vote.
Stay with 5NEWS for more on this developing story.