D’IBERVILLE — City officials expected Ocean Expo Aquarium to be built and open by now and ticket prices to cover the cost of repaying the bond to purchase the land.
Instead the city may have to make the initial $318,668 payment — due in September — out of the general fund.
A visit to EMMA has been scheduled to do some digging into the official statement.
Additional Ocean Expo:
Can anyone provide information on the contract for site work at the Ocean Expo site?
IMMS solicited bids for “site preparation Phase 1″; the Daily Journal Of Commerce Gulf Coast (see page 17) reported that a local firm by the name of SH Anthony was among the plan holders. Bids were due on August 9, 2012. Was a contract let? Or was this the work that Harrison County did? (See Sun Herald article).
First things first folks as the audit submission is late (it was due on June 30, 2013) and that gives a clue as to the state of the finance department at the City. Good, clean records are easy to audit and those entities with good, clean records typically are not late with audit submissions. In fact, my experience has been that auditees with good, clean records typically have their audits wrapped up 3 to 4 months after the fiscal year end. In the private sector 3 months after Fiscal year end is typically considered timely for audit completion by way of comparison.
The second thing is Mary’s report quotes the CPA firm representative as saying the firm’s opinion was unqualified which in turn is a “clean, good opinion”. My question is which opinion because there are something like 4 or 5 auditor opinion letters contained in a single audit and from the sound of things the City of D’Iberville’s operations are anything but “clean” and “good” as there is double dealing galore there beginning with DMR but not ending there as internal controls over grants and contracts appear nonexistent along with gaping holes in the cash disbursement processes. That much was clear from Mary’s report and there is nothing good or clean about that.
Cause it’s out there folks. With the benefit of my prior experience covering an active Federal criminal investigation, the key is to figure out who is squealing and the most reliable source of that information is usually the squealer, as was the case with Tim Whitmer. Along those lines Sean Anthony has been reported in comments here as cooperating with the authorities. I’m not ready to call such at this point but my experience has been the business people truly know where all the “bones are buried” for it is they that are the puppet masters.
I have some additional thoughts that, with a bit of luck, I’ll share later.