Consultant under fire after officials find mistakes in finance r - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Consultant under fire after officials find mistakes in finance report

Posted: Updated:
This is not the first time consultant, David Garrett, has come under fire. This is not the first time consultant, David Garrett, has come under fire.

Monday night's meeting sees more controversy surrounding a consultant hired by the Evansville City Council.  

14 News obtained a document written by that consultant that some say could jeopardize the city's financial future.

This is not the first time consultant, David Garrett, has come under fire. One city official tells 14 News that his office found mistakes on every page of Garrett's 12 page report, a report that's now in the hands of state officials. 

City Controller Russ Lloyd Jr. tells 14 News that he was blindsided when City Council Finance Chairman John Friend handed over a report to the State Board of Accounts that written by Garrett.

"He just handed it to them. We said, 'Well, could we have a copy of that?' No, we'd not seen it," Lloyd said.

It happened while Lloyd and Friend were at a meeting about an audit that's underway right now into some of the city's past financial records. Lloyd has since written a memo to council calling Garrett's conclusions "incorrect, insulting," even "useless."

"We would once again say that we feel that there's some mistakes in his conclusions. We don't agree with those," Lloyd said.

Lloyd is also concerned about why Garrett's report was handed over to the state auditor before his office had a chance to look it over, especially since he says the city is working very hard to get a "clean opinion" from the state.

"I looked at him and I said, 'Russ, I expect you not to agree with this, on the report, but it's ours and you may submit your report,'" Friend said.

Friend says he's under no obligation to hand over his consultant's reports to Lloyd. He claims he was just doing his job by providing oversight in hopes of avoiding an unfavorable report like the last one received from the state.

"In that last report we had, it didn't look so good. They singled us out, and as finance chair, I wasn't going to sit back and allow that to happen again," Friend said.

Some question the timing and political motives behind Friend's actions. But he, who originally recommended Garrett for the job, says he handed over Garrett's report in an effort to get a clean report this time around.

"I really hope that Mr. Garrett's report comes out to not be correct. That wouldn't be a problem with us. We'd say, 'Fine, let's move on,'" Friend said.

We're told the State Board of Accounts will look over Garrett's report and the follow-up report submitted by Lloyd.  The state board is expected to release its final report in the next few weeks.  

If you'd like to read Garrett's report and Lloyd's memo to the council, click here.

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow