STATE AUDIT: Former Tarboro Manager Bought $365,629 In Questionable Purchases

The long awaited State Auditor's report on Tarboro says a former town manager spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer money that exceeded the scope of his duties.

State Auditor Beth Wood released the audit Tuesday morning that looked into questionable purchases made by Sam Noble over a six-year period. Noble retired as town manager in 2011.

The audit says Noble received more than $450,000 in reimbursements from the town for supplies, equipment, travel, and meals which may not have been necessary.

Noble is accused of purchasing $365,629.24 worth of items, including handguns, gun holsters, life vests, flashlights, helmets, wetsuits, marine equipment, shirts, coolers, and jackets. After his retirement, Noble returned many of the items to the town, according to the investigation.

The former town manager is also accused of obtaining over $87,000 in life insurance premiums without town council approval.

The report also says current mayor Rick Page received more than $27,000 in reimbursements for health insurance payments for his ex-wife after claiming the health insurance was for him. This happened when Page was head of the electric department for the town.

In a letter to the auditor, Page said the town plans to pursue recommendations in the report, which include tightening spending controls and getting the mayor to pay back the money to the town.

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