Last week, Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released her official “Follow-Up Report On Audit Findings” for the city of Seymour.
The 13-page document was sent to the Citizen via e-mail, complete with a letter to the mayor and aldermen, which provided a four-tier grading scale from state auditors listing their recommendations and the city’s level of implementation.
In its report this spring, state auditors cited 24 alleged violations by city employees and elected officials. Keep in mind that not a single cent was found to be missing or misspent. However, in keeping with a bureaucracy’s standing order to look important, the aforementioned 24 violations were cited. As a result, the city received an official “Poor” rating from state auditors.
That’s the same score recently received by the city of Winona, where the city clerk swiped more than $40,000 of the people’s money. Just last month, she was tried and convicted of the crime, receiving a seven-year suspended prison sentence. All kinds of things were askew in that Shannon County community. Auditors’ pens likely ran out of ink.
Regardless, Winona and Seymour are the same in the eyes of the state auditors.
In its recent report, auditors said Seymour’s city officials either implemented or were in the process of implementing 18 of their 24 audit suggestions.
We question the auditors’ grading scale on this.
Above that, auditors said six of their suggestions weren’t being followed. We’ll loudly question the auditors’ allegations on this front.
For example, on Page 8 of the report, auditors said “the city does not have documented supervisory approval for 9 of 11 purchases made from 5 vendors during April 2019.”
This just isn’t true.
The city has an e-mail from the state auditor’s office that proves that sentence to be false. In fact, all 11 purchases had supervisory approval.
Another gripe from the auditors was that the city’s payroll records didn’t have proper documentation.
This followed a sentence that said, “The board has made significant improvements in controls over payroll.” Two sentences later, auditors wrote, “We reviewed April 2019 payroll records for 3 haphazardly selected employees and noted the records were signed by the employee and retained; however, only 2 records were approved by a supervisor.”
Again, not true.
The city has those same records. All three were signed by a supervisor.
And the state auditor’s office knew this. The city has an e-mail trail to prove it.
The only accurate word in the sentence was using the word haphazardly. That describes the hack job done to Seymour by state auditors.
The biggest hammer slammed by the state had to do with the clearing of a fence row by city employees.
This violation was listed in detail in the initial audit. We’ll give the details. South Ward Alderman Nadine Crisp asked city employees to clear the fence row, which bordered city property, two springs ago. The work was done. Auditors threw a fit about it, as though the adjacent property owner was given a golden goose.
Fast forward to the present. State auditors can’t let it go. In its follow-up report, they wrote, “The board did not consult with legal counsel to determine whether the value of services previously provided to private citizens should be recovered.”
The man who supposedly received the service now is dead. He was elderly. Should the city sue his estate? Sue his heirs? Spend money on legal counsel to author a civil suit against a person no longer living?
And for how much? What’s the value of clearing a fence row that borders city land? Had the deceased man who shared the fence with the city known there would be a cost, we seriously doubt he would’ve wanted it cleared.
In a nutshell, the second audit report is much like the first one ... a bunch of bunk.
Let’s now discuss what it really is.
Free political advertising for Nicole Galloway.
The politician Nicole Galloway.
The Nicole Galloway who signed this audit and has her name plastered on the audit didn’t spend a single day in Seymour during any of the process.
Her goal is to look tough for taxpayers.
In reality, she’s a paper tiger, posing for cameras and holding press conferences, eyeing the office she really wants ... the governor’s seat.
You heard it here first, folks, Nicole Galloway will be the Democratic candidate for Missouri governor in the 2020 election. Conveniently, she finds a small city in a solidly Republican county and unleashes her office’s wrath with an audit report and follow-up report that are heavy on words and extremely light in actual violations.
Fact is, Seymour was the victim of Nicole’s private political pursuits.
Remember that the next time you see her name on a statewide ballot. To date, her office’s services have cost the residents of Seymour nearly $60,000 and counting.
But we’re sure glad her office solved the fence-row caper for us.