Former Mills Mayor Made $15,000 On Sale Of Town Land
The former mayor of the Town of Mills made $15,000 on the resale of town property her daughter bought for her, according to Natrona County property records and the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation.
Marrolyce Wilson resigned last week, but she did not give a reason why.
The allegations of Wilson's conflicts of interest and official misconduct arose during the embezzlement investigation of former town Treasurer Lisa Whetstone, according to a recent affidavit filed by a DCI agent asking the Natrona County Circuit Court to issue a search warrant for Wilson's bank account.
Wilson did not immediately return a phone call Thursday.
Both cases started in January 2015 when the Wyoming Department of Audit began an audit of the town's books from July 2013 to June 2014. The examination expanded, and the DCI was brought in to investigate.
Besides the financial irregularities, the audit found the town in 2014 wanted to sell three properties: three lots on South Third Avenue in the Agate Addition, property on Platte Avenue, and the three lots in the Freden Addition plus a vacated street.
The town advertised the sales in February 2014.
The ad for the Agate Addition lots stated in part, "These three lots total approximately 24,258 sq. ft. in size. The Town is asking $45,000.... The town will not allow a mobile home but a small home may be erected on these lots if Developing Residential set-backs are met. Low unacceptable bids will be discarded...."
The DCI affidavit states that on Feb. 21, 2014, the bids were awarded and Wilson acquired the Agate Addition lots for $20,000. The other lots were sold, too.
Five months later, the town council held an executive session on July 16 during which it was discovered that a "'fake bid'" had been produced on Feb. 21. Initially, Wilson told council she received a bid a few weeks earlier from someone who wanted to buy the property known as the Freden Addition for $12,000. The town was asking $21,000 for it.
However, during the Feb. 21 bid opening, Whetstone told council Wilson informed her that there was another bid in "'another room.'" Wilson went to get that bid, called Whetstone into the room, and asked her to create a $12,000 bid for the buyer of the Freden Addition.
When council members heard this, they decided to nullify the sales because Wilson as mayor placed a bid for town property, and because of the other questionable bid submittal for the Freden Addition lots.
The town again advertised the same land in October.
A bid of $15,000 was submitted for the three lots in the Agate Addition by Stacy Faigle, who was awarded the property on Dec. 19, 2014.
Faigle is Wilson's daughter.
Natrona County property records show on Jan. 15, 2015, the town issued a quit claim deed -- signed by then-mayor Wilson -- of this property to Faigle at a Post Office Box address.
The DCI agent found a check for $15,000 from Faigle to the Town of Mills.
On Feb. 20, 2015, Faigle signed a quit claim deed for the Agate Addition property to Wilson for $10 and other consideration, according to property records. Wilson and Faigle use the same Post Office box number.
Wilson sold the three lots to a Riverton man on Sept. 11, 2015.
According to the Natrona County Assessor's Office, the three undeveloped lots have a combined approximate assessed value of $109,164.
Since the purchase of the Agate Addition lots, three houses have been erected on the property. Assessor's Office records do not reflect the value of those new houses.
During an interview with a DCI agent and a Natrona County Sheriff's Officer on Aug. 29, 2016, Wilson admitted Faigle was her daughter, she created the bid for the Agate Addition property and signed Faigle's name, according to the affidavit. "Wilson also admitted that she provided Faigle with the $15,000 to purchase the property from the town. Wilson admitted that she sold the property for $30,000."
Wilson submitted her resignation the next day.