City Raises Estimate of $ Embezzled by Cooper

By: Jon Hardison
By: Jon Hardison

City officials say they now believe Davis Cooper embezzled $3.8 million dollars dating back to fiscal year 1997, that's $1.5 million more than originally thought.

City Treasurer and acting CFO Jeff Meisel says the city will probably never know how much money was taken because they can't access bank records dating back any farther, and Cooper has been with the city since 1980.

Meisel says the city is in the midst of implementing new safeguards to make sure this kind of mass theft won't happen again.

Those include:
--Closing a loophole in the BOLT tax collection software system that Meisel believes Cooper exploited to embezzle the funds
--Installing a new lockbox system that moves money from city hall to the bank on the same day it's collected
--Adding a keypad lock to the vault
--Adding a security camera to monitor access to the vault

"Basically yes once we get this system fixed with our bolt system, I feel really good about it," Meisel said.

Cooper's case will go before a federal grand jury in early May, police Chief Bill Waltrip said, and Cooper could be back in court by mid-May.

Much of Cooper's personal property will be auctioned off at the Sloan Convention Center on June 18th.


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