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East Point releases progress report on 'missing' $200 million
by Staff
August 07, 2013 07:29 PM | 2446 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
download Report Part 1
download Report Part 2
East Point spokesman James Hammond released the following statement Aug. 7 under the signature of Mayor Earnestine Pittman regarding a city council-initiated investigation:

"The city has continued to receive inquiries requesting follow-up information from the council-initiated investigation reported during the July 1 council meeting. After receipt of the report, city council directed the city attorney [Corliss Lawson] and Mark Felton of Felton Forensics to further investigate several findings, and this process is ongoing.

As was stated in the city’s press release of July 2, the city takes the findings from the investigation very seriously and any findings that appear to arise to the level of a crime will be reported to the authorities.

By way of an update, the city did locate missing boxes [of files] for the years 2008, 2009, and 2010 approximately one week after the report was delivered and Mr. Felton has confirmed that these boxes contain the pertinent accounts payable files that he was looking for to audit.

Additionally, with respect to the alleged 'missing' $200 million dollars from January 2000 through the end of December 2012, this is an incorrect characterization.

As clearly stated in the report from January 2000 through the end of December 2012 'almost $200 million in city purchases did not have a purchase order.'

This does not translate to there is no documentation to support the purchases, nor does it translate to mean the city does not know to whom the purchases were made, what goods or services were purchased or when such purchases were made.

The finding is responsive to the city council’s request that the investigation determine whether city employees are complying with the city’s contract and procurement laws, which require a purchase order for every purchase of goods and services.

In closing, this is an investigation that city council initiated in October 2012.

It has taken nine months to get to this point as these investigations take time.

City council will continue this investigation through its completion and will cooperate with the authorities with respect to any inquiries.

To protect the integrity of the investigation, there will be no further comments or update until it is completed."

The report, obtained by the Neighbor under an Open Records request, also included a description of the “appearance of vendor/employee impropriety.”

Felton included copies of envelopes used by Cherokee Truck Equipment of Mableton to send sealed bids to two separate employees.

“According to Ms. [Dena] Ray, [a contract specialist in the contracts and procurement department], she took both envelopes to Nesby Ingram, director of contracts and procurement, who has since been terminated,” Felton wrote. “I was unable to find documentation showing how Mr. Nesby handled this particular procurement code violation.”

Felton’s conclusions were “there were violations of the city’s procurement codes” and he repeatedly noted the violation of Georgia’s record retention laws regarding the 2008-2010 files.

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