KTBS has nailed a critical flaw in Shreveport’s accounting for public assets. The following is an email I sent to the mayor and each city councilman.
Marion Marks, Shreveport Citizen/Taxpayer
And the question I feel compelled to ask immediately is… “How could money (a liquid asset), a LINE ITEM, fall off of a balance sheet?” It seems to the inquiring mind, that someone had to actively determine that this line item was to “disappear” from the balance sheet. And that type thing requires active energy & planning. It’s not as if a page of paper fell out of a notebook, and it’s not something that you can wipe off a
computer without removing the checks and balances associated with this line item. This line item appears to have been actively REMOVED by someone in accounting at the explicit direction of someone in city government who had oversight. The physical presence and then disappearance cannot make it through a calendar cycle without being expressly and forcibly deleted from the assets and liabilities section of the budget along with support documentation.
So, the obvious follow up is, “Who had control and physically audited this in the last period when it was on the books and then off the books?” Where are the guardians of city resources all this time? I’m not saying it’s obvious that some planned impropriety wasn’t uncovered, but too many questions hold be asked when over two million dollars turns up as a surprise. This is like the CPA who has kept your books for a year and at tax time finds extra money you didn’t know you had. Either he wasn’t keeping very good tabs on the numbers through the year, or a mistake was found which happened on the “Good” side rather than the “Bad.” More questions hold be answered.
And now, with city finances in less than stellar condition, can “divvying” up this Easter Egg be justified. Should not some or ALL of this be put back in the account that has been looted, the RESERVES?