Auditors: Ex-Searcy Mayor Overpaid In Retirement Funds

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas state auditors say a former mayor of Searcy received nearly double the amount of retirement benefits to which she was entitled.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Belinda LaForce received $281,000 in benefits over a seven-year period but should have received only $141,000. LaForce was mayor from 2003 to 2010.

Auditors said the city didn’t follow state law when calculating the benefits. They suggested that the city retain a lawyer and figure out a way to resolve the overpayments.

One other former mayor was overpaid, but by a lesser amount, and another former mayor was underpaid.

In LaForce’s case, a car allowance was used to calculate payments due but shouldn’t have been, according to the state auditors. LaForce said she isn’t sure the auditors’ findings are correct.