Evansville City Council hires second financial consultant - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Evansville City Council hires second financial consultant

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The Ford Center The Ford Center

The Evansville City Council has hired a second financial consultant to look over the city's books.

That firm,RGI Forensics, based in Missouri, will be taking a closer look at money spent by the city. But, is a second consultant really needed?

This new consultant will have one primary focus and that is to review the accounts of the Ford Center.

There are about 10 transactions involving city money that need to be reviewed. David Garrett, the other financial consultant hired by the city council last year is looking over the city's books after an audit by the state identified some issues.

At least one council member is questioning why only two members of the council chose consulting firm. 14 News obtained an email from the state board of accounts that if it was passed on by Finance Chairman John Friend to all council members.

That email says, the city council does not have the authority to hire an auditor for this project unless the lease agreement with the redevelopment authority gives the council that power. 

"We got in that too with the same thing with David Garrett when he came on board from that standpoint," says John Friend "It has been kicked around it. The question is why not? When somebody wants to, you've heard the amount of money. It's not going to be very much. I think initially $2,500. That's nothing for them to do a review."

The amount of money, he says, could increase to $25,000. That all depends on the review itself.

Friend says it's in the city's best interest to have an independent firm conduct this review. The mayor's office also released a statement on this on Monday night.

The official statement says:

  • "Last week, the State Board of Accounts held its exit conference on its examination of the Ford Center construction project. The SBOA indicated that its full report will be released within 30 days. We're grateful to the SBOA for granting our request from July 2012 to conduct the review and report back to the Administration. If City Council wants to revisit the Ford Center construction project following the current SBOA review, this Administration will support their effort. However, we respectfully ask that it be done independently of current workload of city employees and resources." - Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke

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