After meeting in closed session twice Tuesday to discuss the audit into Killeen's city finances, council members announced a delay of at least two weeks in seeing results in seven key areas of an investigation into the city’s finances.
Behind closed doors at City Hall and the Utility Collection’s Building — 50 minutes in the second meeting alone — the Audit Advisory Committee and full council were briefed in succession by Houston-based representatives of McConnell & Jones.
The firm provided the latest summary of findings of a management audit responding to residents' concerns about potential fraud or misappropriation in local government finances.
As anticipated, no new information about any findings was made public.
In an extemporaneous handwritten note, however, Mayor Pro Tem Jim Kilpatrick, who also chairs the audit subcommittee, said McConnell & Jones requested an extension because of an “extensive data submission” by the city.
When asked to clarify, Kilpatrick said it was “additional” data, but did not say what it was or when it was submitted.
An extension was granted at no additional cost, the note said. The draft audit was due to the council July 7 and the final report was due July 31. They now are tentatively pushed out two weeks.
The council also gave City Manager Ron Olson the green light to move forward with his end of the administrative process in the audit.
Olson’s executive team and city staff plan to meet Wednesday with the firm to receive a separate, more detailed briefing, according to City Auditor Matthew Grady.
The role of administrators in the audit process will be to get more information for auditors, such as to corroborate the proper use of bond money, Assistant City Manager Dennis Baldwin previously said.
“That dialogue is important to ensure the correct information gets to council. ... The documents are the documents — none of that’s going to be in the possession of us to change. It just allows for that dialogue to occur,” Baldwin said.
Initial observations by the firm May 2 indicated a list of problems within city finances and decision-making but offered no context. Olson previously said it a misstep by the firm, and said speculation hurts an investigation.
Olson also told the Herald the firm’s findings will not be altered and will be made public; it’s not clear when, however.
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