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Lake Dallas council to discuss city manager

The Lake Dallas City Council is expected to discuss the role of City Manager Matt Shaffstall during closed session at its regular meeting Thursday.

Matt Shaffstall, Lake Dallas city managerCourtesy photo
Matt Shaffstall, Lake Dallas city manager
Courtesy photo

The agenda item comes on the heels of recent newspaper stories detailing a potential misuse of funds when Shaffstall worked as the city administrator of Willow Park, located in Parker County near Weatherford. 

According to the Weatherford Democrat, former Willow Park City Council member Gene Martin alleged during his last council meeting in May that Shaffstall had used public funds inappropriately by providing tuition reimbursement to former Public Works Director Steve Martin.

Gene Martin said he found the city had reimbursed Steve Martin $18,033 for tuition since August 2014, but an August 2016 memo written by Steve Martin said he was reimbursed $17,957.

Gene Martin also said the city didn't have a tuition assistance program in its employment policy. The former council member asked for an investigation into the matter, but current Willow Park City Administrator Scott Wall said there was no ongoing investigation regarding the tuition reimbursement. 

However, the latest Willow Park financial audit from the Weatherford-based accounting firm of George, Morgan and Sneed says the city is investigating a January 2016 equipment purchase while Shaffstall was city administrator.

The audit shows  the city purchased one pickup and one dump truck totaling $131,877, but failed to follow a competitive bidding process as required by state law. The accounting firm also pointed out 43 errors made in Willow Park's financial statements. By contrast, the latest Lake Dallas audit from the same fiscal year had no errors.

The Lake Dallas City Council voted unanimously in July 2016 to hire Shaffstall after a months-long search by Keller-based firm Strategic Government Services. He is currently under a two-year contract with a $95,000 annual base salary.

When reached by phone Wednesday afternoon, Shaffstall said he didn't think it was appropriate to comment on the affairs of another city.

The City Council meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 212 Main St.

CAITLYN JONES can be reached at 940-566-6862.