Monday, September 24, 2007

What does the recent Audit of City mean in regards to Harrison Square?

The State Board of Accounts Audit may have a major impact on the Harrison Square Project.

The most important effect is that this SHOULD change the vote tomorrow night at the City Council meeting. Tomorrow night the City Council is voting on whether or not to take out an 18 million dollar loan to cover project costs until the City can secure the loan with the DLGF (Which may well NOT get approved). Read more at:
<http://www.angrywhiteboy.org/index.php/2007/09/19/harrison-square-gets-shake-down-loan/>

I would expect 1-3 City Councilmen to change their votes on the short term loan to cover the Harrison Square Project costs based on the findings by the State Board of Accounts.

Councilman Crawford has been reported (By several sources) to have repeatedly said he would change his vote on the Project if the law was broken... In fact, I heard from two independent sources that he told this to several people this last weekend at a Republican event.

Based on previous conversations I have had with both Councilman Didier and Councilman Hayhurst I think the Audit may influence their votes as well.

I think that the response from the Indiana State Board of Accounts will pretty much ensure the Indiana DLGF (Cheryl Musgrave) will shoot the main Harrison Square bond down; meaning the City will have to spend ANOTHER 4 million dollars to finance the bond if it is not backed by property taxes.

Add this to the cost over-run that will occur due to the walkway the hotel is insisting on and the project is going to be funded almost 60% by The City and only 40% by private developers...

The financial breakdown keeps getting worse and worse...

Mike Sylvester

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike,

What are you reading? or what are you smoking?

Do you know that the head of the state board of accounts was on the dlgf board that voted in favor of H. Square

My god, dont let the facts get in your way.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Anonymous:

I am reading the Audit I posted from the Indiana State Board of Accounts.

Mike Sylvester

John B. Kalb said...

Anonymous at 3:10 Yes that is the same person who is THE Indiana State Examiner, Mr Bruce Hartman. Mr. Hartman told me last week over the phone, that he could not reveal the details of his report, but that as the head CPA for the state, he would be "calling a spade a spade", and that will upset some in Fort Wayne.
He voted on the Local Government Finance Board as a substitute since one regular member could not attend. Bruce said his vote was "on the merits as he saw them from the presentation that day".
I was, after all, in attendance at that meeting. John B. Kalb

Anonymous said...

Mike,

I think you are assuming that all of your readers understand the function of audit "comments". Perhaps you should explain the concept, to the benefit of those who seem to think they are just "random thoughts to make the report more interesting but nothing important"...

I particularly like the City's "glad you agree everything is above board" response. The ultimate spin.

Jeff Pruitt said...

Anon,

I posted about Baghdad Roller's response over at Fort Wayne Left. I actually burst into laughter when I read her take on the auditor's comments...

Anonymous said...

Sort of like-

Dear Mrs. Lincoln,

We are pleased to confirm that you enjoyed last evenings' performance thoroughly, notwithstanding the brief, unplanned interruption in the play.

Sincerely,

Ford Theatre

Anonymous said...

Could one of you mensa members please point to the spot in the report where the state board of accounts affirmatively states that a law was violated and that corrective action is warranted.

John B. Kalb said...

anonymous at 4:15 - I am not a member of the august group that you asked, but I do have the answers:
A)Page 5 of the report
1) !st paragraph "Executive sessions may be held only ... (D) The purchase or lease of real property by the governing body up to the time a contract or option to purchase or lease is executed by the parties". The unlawful acts: a)the redevelopment commission is NOT the governing body - that's our City Council and
b) on page 4, 2nd paragraph, " The Redevelopment Commission authorized Department of Redevelopment employees or their agents (Summit Development Corporation) to purchase above said properties at amounts exceeding appraised or estimated appraised values during EXECUTIVE SESSIONS in 2006. These meetings were illegal per this audit comment. Executive sessions are non-public meetings of the Redevelopment Commission held for STRATEGIC PURPOSES.
B) Paragraph 2 on page 5 states, " Five of the thirty-two properties were purchased from the Jefferson Point TIF Fund. These five propwerties were outside the boundaries of the TIF District at the time of purchase". This is illegal, per this audit comment.
C) Same page, fourth paragraph states that City Council did not approve or subsequently ratify the property purchases. This was illegal according to Fort Wayne municipal Code Sections 37.17 and 37.19.
D) The last item on page 5, Appropriations, points out that the city illegally expended $5,171,540 over budgeted amounts in 2006.

Do you need me to go on? Or is this sufficient?

John B. Kalb

J Q Taxpayer said...

Someone ask about corrective action? What put the houses and buildings back and so forth. Not a chance.

The audit departments does not site broken laws. They only note issues they found. The aduit department will decide if they should send it on over to the Indiana Attorney General for review. The AG decides if the law has been broken within a limited scope.

However, some issues maybe be the subject of review by the Allen County PA. Someone will need to file a complaint (apparently they can not do anything on their own).

If she fails to look into the matter then the Feds may have an interest. In fact they may have an interest in it regardless to what the PA does.

Kody Tinnel said...

I think Mr. Kalb should run for City Council in 2011.

Anonymous said...

You are all dreaming!

Harrison Square is a done deal- get over it!

If all of you spent a quarter as much time supporting this project as you do bitching about it, it could be the greatest thing ever.

However, you are all whining that you did not get your $.02 in to the conversation.

Hey, wake up, we have a REPRESENTATIVE form of Government- not a Democracy

John B. Kalb said...

JQ - I understand that Ron Reinking was going to file another complaint with our Allen County Prosecutor this afternoon very simular to the one that I sent to her on July 7, 2007. We shall see.

John B. Kalb

John B. Kalb said...

Anonymous at 7:14 : The words on paper sure don't look like dreaming to me - What are you drinking? From what you said, I guess you believe that "the end justifies the (illegal) means". Is that what our city is about? Absolutely NOT (And I am yelling!!)
John B. Kalb

J Q Taxpayer said...

anom 7:14 you might be right we did not get out cut of the financial pie. Then again we did try stealing one either.

If everything outlined here and some that has not passes muster then I will be shocked. Just to think I thought I was past of the age of being shocked.

Even with additional information that has been sent on to City Council members there is more to come out.

I stayed out of Harrison Square mess because I believed it was done within the law. Once it beame apparent that it was not I joined with these fine guys in seeking out the real truth.

The government can jam something down my throat but they wil do it within the law.

We just happen to believe they failed in a number of ways. Remember something abou the, "We the people ...!"

Sorry guys but I am one ticked off camper right now.

J Q Taxpayer said...

I am sorry for my typing I am just so damn upset.

Anonymous said...

Kalb, in all honesty, i really think you have lost your mind. Are you reading the letter that is posted above or are you just making this stuff up in your head?

Anonymous said...

I'm as opposed to Harrison Square as anyone. However, I read the letter several times and I'm not sure why you are so giddy. If you received this audit from the IRS, you would be ecstatic. There is no indication of wrongdoing whatsoever.

Shree

Anonymous said...

Everything in the "comments" section is, by definition, an assertion of "wrongdoing" from an auditing perspective (which is or may be different from a legal perspective). Look at the June 27 cover letter, which certifies that the records and accountability for cash and other assets are "satisfactory" EXCEPT as stated in the Comments.

This has nothing to with an IRS audit. The highlighted transactions are irregularities and deviations from standard and/or required procedures, as the BOA understands them. If this report were issued to a publicly held company, heads would roll and the shareholder suits would already be filed.

Anonymous said...

"If this report were issued to a publicly held company, heads would roll and the shareholder suits would already be filed".

You win the aware for the most ridiculous overblown statement of the day.

Get a grip on reality.

Anonymous said...

My grip on reality is fine. In the private sector, and even in the non-profit world, an audit report indicating that millions of dollars were spent outside accepted and approved procedures, and without normal and necessary approvals, would be cause for great alarm. A company that flippantly responded "thanks for agreeing we did everything just right" would be fired by its external auditors, an option not available to the BOA.

Pat Roller's assertion that the comments are just "educational" for the taxpayer are absurd. As a CPA she knows those comments are not and cannot be used for that purpose.

John B. Kalb said...

Anonymous - 9/24 at 10:10 PM & Shree on 9/25 at 7:15 AM:
See my comment on this thread on 9/24 at 5:56 PM.
And Shree "no indication of wrongdoing whatsoever" ? Is your computer working? Do you understand the english language? Are you blind in both eyes? Help me out to understand what the H you are talking about. You and Pat Roller must have the same ailment! John B. Kalb

Anonymous said...

Look for civil and/or criminal charges to be filed against Tim Pape. He has gone on the record that his firm (of which he is a paid partner and from which he financially benefits) has always done business with the city. He should have recused himself from voting on anything related to Harrison Square from which his firm and he personally financially benefits.

While not a problem by itself, he has not filed the appropriate "conflict of interest" forms required by law. Failure to do so is a Class D Felony. As an attorney he should have known better. If he claims ignorance of the law, he's not qualified to continue serving on City Council. If convicted he must resign.

This is just the beginning. John Kalb should be commended for his steadfast pursuit on this issue.

Anonymous said...

Oh come on guys, the State Board of Accounts doesn't have any teeth and certainly wouldn't stand up on any controversial issue. They only take up "someone stole the paperclips" issues. Council has ratified everything by their actions. The City will get away with this and then just watch some employee get terminated for blowing their nose wrong. Steve Carter would be all over that, wouldn't he? Double standards abound and its about to hit critical mass. Bunch of Hypocrisy. I guess the "peasants" should expect as much from the self- important "landowners." Welcome back to pre Magna Carta England!

Anonymous said...

John Kalb can you ask the Prosecuting Attorney to file charges against Tim Pape!

_ DEJ77