People in Miller, Mo. react to state auditor's report on corruption accusations against former police chief

MILLER, Mo. After a long investigation, former Miller Police Chief Joshua Bruce is now accused of stealing more than more than $45,000 from taxpayers.

State Auditor, Nicole Galloway released findings of her investigation Tuesday.

It's part of a criminal investigation against Bruce and his brother Randall.

"He has to pay for what he has done. I think he should give back. I really do," said Tassie Hilton.

Her small town of Miller has a big problem.

"Oh my gosh! This is a small town. We don't have much to take. People are just living on either a set income, social security, what little retirement they have," she said.

Hilton works at one of two restaurants in town.

She, like many others are upset over corruption accusations involving the former police chief, Joshua Bruce and his brother Randall.

Ron Baldwin said, "It's just unacceptable at all. I hate to wish him harm but it sounds like he's got some harm coming."

"He come in town and he convinced everybody that he run the town. That ain't the way it works in this country. People run their town," said Robert Campbell.

He felt something was off and started attending town hall meetings. Campbell said many people in the community looked to him for help.

"I said I'll check with people. If they're wantin' their town audited I'll supply the footwork and that's just what I did," he said.

It only took 120 signatures to get the State Auditor, Nicole Galloway's office to investigate.

"I think the state come in here and done an excellent job. They sent a good investigator in here and got to the bottom of somethings. It's going to surprise some people in this town that really wasn't paying attention," Campbell said.

"What we found was very concerning," said Galloway.

Her office teamed up with law enforcement and uncovered missing weapons, tactical equipment and computers plus embezzlement to the tune of $45,000.

"He did this through falsified payrolls, improper mileage reimbursements, making personal purchases on city credit cards," said Galloway.

That's money people in Miller thought they were paying towards city services.

Galloway said, "All of this is costing tax payers money that should be going to serve them and their community but instead is going to the former police chief lining his pockets."

She explained that city officials didn't have the proper checks and balances in place to prevent this.

"Our audit lays a roadmap for how the city can address this in the future. They are working to make the city better. They are working to regain the trust of taxpayers within the city," said Galloway.

Our request for an on camera interview from Miller officials was declined. We were told that we would have to submit our questions in writing prior to getting answers. We were referred to their statement posted on social media that says they are cooperating with authorities.

Campbell said he will keep a close watch on the town's government from now on.

"I don't wear these glasses because I'm blind. I wear them so I can see other things people neglect to see. Listen, I plan on leaving this little town for this next generation so there'll still be a Miller," he said.

The state auditor's office will be keeping tabs on how the city of Miller recovers from this.

Joshua Bruce isn't speaking to law enforcement but his brother Randall is cooperating with authorities.

Both have been brought up on charges.