‘Special treatment’ at heart of Moriarty audit

State Auditor Tim Keller’s office is examining “whether city employees gave special treatment to certain water users” in Moriarty, and will conduct a special audit of the city’s public works department.

“The City of Moriarty notified the State Auditor of potential discrepancies in connection with utility billing and water meter readings,” said a press release from Keller’s office.

The city of Moriarty has “terminated our billing clerk,” said Moriarty Mayor Ted Hart Tuesday; Hart would neither name the employee nor comment further.

Asked if the termination is related to the audit, Hart would not comment. “It’s under investigation,” he said, adding only, “It goes pretty deep.”

State law requires the city to report discrepancies to the auditor’s office, Hart said.

Asked if there is any indication of criminal activity, Hart answered, “I want this solved—I’m not going to say anything that will endanger our case on this.”

“The citizens of the City of Moriarty deserve to be assured that their utility bills reflect fair practices and that they are not suffering the consequences of favoritism by those trusted to protect public dollars,” Keller said in the press release. “We appreciate the City of Moriarty for bringing the issue to light and will work together to get to the bottom of any potential fraud, waste and abuse.”