- Elliott Stonecipher
For those with access to today’s Shreveport Times, a must-read is Sara Mcneil’s report of downright scary developments in our city’s financial management.
Included among the City’s gross mismanagement, if not worse, are the following findings and developments …
… The City has failed, and is failing, to pay city employee payroll taxes. The failure cost the City at least $189,000 in 2018, and the reporter’s attempt to determine if even more such penalties are due in 2019 failed when requested records were not provided.
… Ms. Macneil also found that the City’s external auditor uncovered a “risk of the loss of $15,000,000 in city funds due to banking and insurance issues,” explaining that “… one bank the city uses had more than $15 million in city funds with no pledged securities. The deposit was not secured by federal insurance as required by law.”
… City Council members James Flurry, John Nickelson, Grayson Boucher and LeVette Fuller are set to investigate related such failures via the Audit and Finance Committee, which Flurry chairs.
… A June 21st letter to the mayor by Flurry notes that members of the Committee have been told by the City’s Independent Auditor – Carr, Riggs & Ingram – that the Finance Department “has been woefully late in submitting required records for them to successfully complete its audit.”
… Too, City Controller David Webster has asked the Louisiana Legislative Auditor in a June 19th letter to extend the timeline for submission of information for its 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). That deadline was June 30th.
… The Controller notes in his letter to the Legislative Auditor’s office that, “During their audit of compensated absences, our auditors, Carr, Riggs and Ingram, discovered that the City’s Fire and Police Civil Service leave balances seemed to have material omissions.”
Mayor Perkins’ signature aversion to transparency was veritably screamed by Communication Manager Ben Riggs when the Times reporter asked for comments about these failures: “We do not comment on personnel matters or any potential investigations.”
Against this backdrop, the Perkins administration is (a) denying the existence of two of the three class actions lawsuits against the City’s Water and Sewerage Department for overbilling, (b) working toward a $100-$150 million City bond issue, and (c) assembling property for a Cross Bayou scheme.
My sincere thanks to Ms. Macneil. Here is the link to her article published online earlier this morning:
© 2019 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED