After a series of city financial standings coming to light, Finance Director Albert Avila has assured Oakdale Interim City Manager Greg Wellman that the city’s 2010-2011 audit will be received by Friday, May 11 and delivered to the city council. The council also just received notice of the 2009-2010 audit that had been withheld for nearly a year.
On Tuesday afternoon, Wellman made available a letter from the city’s auditing firm, Moss, Levy, and Hartzheim dated May 25, 2011 regarding the 2009-2010 audit.
The letter states that the audit “identified certain deficiencies in internal control that we consider to be significant deficiencies.”
A significant deficiency by their auditing terms is a deficiency in internal control that is important enough to merit attention by those charged with governance.
The 23-page letter that identifies 22 factors for 2010 that it identified as “significant deficiencies” was never delivered to the city council.
“There is no way without credible numbers or a credible audit that I can rule out theft, embezzlement or fraud,” said Wellman on Tuesday. “That’s why you have audits.”
When asked about why the letter was not delivered to the city council for nearly a year, Avila said, “I have so much going on. I thought it had gone to the council, apparently it did not. It was not any effort to hide anything.”
Wellman, who has been a vocal critic of what has been discovered regarding the city’s financial status, said that without an accurate audit of the city’s finances he cannot confirm Oakdale’s soundness for the future in drafting the 2012-2013 fiscal year budget.
“Without current numbers available, I cannot even go into contract negotiations,” said Wellman.
Avila said he anticipates the council to have a conference call with the auditors on Monday to answer any questions.
In Avila’s email to Wellman about the delay in getting him the 2011 report, he states, “I apologize for the delay in getting the Audit Report to you and the City Council. I should have been more forceful with the Auditors in getting this task completed.”
For more of this on-going story, read the May 16 edition of The Leader.