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Owsley County Clerk Arrested; Questions Remain

Reported by: Aaron Adelson
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Updated: 1/29/2013 6:15 pm
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36

For a decade, the State Auditor's office raised questions about the possibility of the Owsley County Clerk committing fraud.  Monday, authorities arrested Sid Gabbard, and now the Auditor wants to know where $100,000 went.

State Auditor Adam Edelen says Sid Gabbard insulted his own community.  An audit concluded Gabbard owes more than $60,000 in debt, and Edelin says even more is unaccounted for.

"The moneys that have been squandered, lost, stolen, we're not sure, but they're all missing.  His bookkeeping was nonexistent," said Edelen.

Although Gabbard is popular in town, Edelen says he hurt his community, which is one of the poorest counties in the country.

"They can't afford waste.  They can't afford corruption, and they clearly deserve better," said Edelen.

The Auditor says Gabbard took money in, and did not pay it out to agencies like the school district, and the Owsley County School District needs every dollar it can get.

"When I graduated high school here in Owsley County in 1985, we didn't have a chemistry teacher.  2013, we still don't have a chemistry teacher," said Superintendent Tim Bobrowski.

The Superintendent says Gabbard paid the district all the money he owed. 

With a shrinking tax base, fewer students, and less grant money coming in, the district has its challenges.

"When prices go up, and revenues come down, and we're, if we don't act, and and act now on it, we're going to be faced with some difficult times in the near future," said Bobrowski.

Despite the financial situation, Bobrowski says the district does it everything it can to make sure the students get a quality education.

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