TARBORO, EDGECOMBE COUNTY -

A state audit has determined that the former manager in Tarboro siphoned off more than $450,000 in taxpayer funds to provide himself with unapproved benefits and to buy personal items unrelated to his job.

According to the audit released Tuesday, the ex-manager made nearly $366,000 in purchases that exceeded the scope of his duties, including handguns, electronics and boating equipment. He also spent about $87,000 to buy life insurance benefits beyond what was approved for him by the town council.

The audit did not name the specific individual involved, but Sam Noble was the Tarboro manager during the period covered by the report. Noble retired in 2011 after working for the town more than 20 years. He did not respond to a message Tuesday seeking comment.