Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Mayor: Forensic audit will save $283K per year

Councilmen stand by votes

Express Staff Writer

Sun Valley Mayor Dewayne Briscoe said at a City Council meeting Thursday that a recent forensic audit of the city’s finances during 2009 through 2011 will save taxpayers about $283,000 per year.
    Briscoe said the audit cost the city $272,000, and would pay for itself before the end of the next fiscal year. He said those numbers came from City Treasurer and Finance Manager Angela Walls and that he was addressing the issue to put to rest claims by some residents that the audit was an “unnecessary witch hunt” and cost the city up to $1 million.
    “Hopefully, this will be an end to the forensic audit discussions, perhaps,” he said.
    Briscoe said the bulk of the savings will come from resigned employees with no replacement, eliminated positions and resigned employees with cheaper replacements (totaling about $266,500). A list of figures from Walls states the city will also save about $6,850 annually in Police Department overtime, about $4,650 in Verizon Wireless expenses and about $4,850 in fuel costs. Briscoe said the auditors found that many of the city’s cell phones were “unnecessary” and were being used “70 to 80 percent” for personal calls during business hours.
    Briscoe said the audit was “worthwhile” and could not have been done in house because it had to be kept “at arms length.”
    He also noted that the council voted for it unanimously. Councilman Nils Ribi stood by Briscoe’s numbers at the meeting, saying he had also requested them himself from Walls. Councilman Franz Suhadolnik also stood by the city’s decision to commission the forensic audit.
    “I have no apologies about voting for it,” Suhadolnik said.

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