Three former officials in southeast Missouri town face charges

Three former officials of a small southeast Missouri town are facing felony charges after a state audit found more than $115,000 in fraudulent purchases and payments.

The investigation in Parma drew attention after records sought for the audit were destroyed in two suspicious fires.

Former Parma Mayor Tyus Byrd, former city clerk Helen Jean Frye, and David Thatch, a former water supervisor, were charged this week.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway announced in July that her office had uncovered the fraudulent activity during the four years Byrd served as mayor in the town of about 700 people.

She lost her bid for reelection in April 2019.

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