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President King asks Jefferson County Attorney for opinion on policies of the Metro Council

Thursday May 19, 2011

For Immediate Release:
Office of the President
Louisville Metro Council
Contact; Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622

Metro Council President Jim King (D-10) has requested a formal opinion from Jefferson County Attorney Michael O’Connell on the cost center expenditures allowed by the policies and procedures of the Louisville Metro Council.

The request was made in a formal letter to O’Connell sent on Thursday.

“There have been many questions raised recently about the business operations of the Metro Council,” said King. “ I would like to make sure that what we are doing is legal and what changes are needed in how we process our operations.”

The President is asking for opinions on the legality of expenditures from the cost centers that are available to each district. Cost Centers cover business operating expenses of all Council members.

The County Attorney is being asked to offer opinions on the legality of the following expenditures:

· Stamps /postage used to mail letters from district offices

· Debit cards used for constituent awards to promote goodwill

· Food and Drink used at public meetings and district meetings

· Banquet tickets used by a Council member personally if the banquet is a public meeting

· Soft drinks, coffee and mints kept in Council offices for consumption by guests

· Plaques, lapel pins, trophies or similar awards for civic service

Also the President is asking the County Attorney for advice and consequences if the Council rules are violated, the development of the indexes of County Attorney opinions and assistance with updating the Council’s policies and procedures to reflect the current legal state of the art.

King is also calling on the Metro Government’s Internal Auditor to perform a new audit on all Council cost center spending to include 100% percent of all Kroger purchases for the last three years. The President will also request an analysis of purchases other than food and drink in any district office to determine if there is eligibility for re-imbursement.

The Business Office underwent an internal audit in 2010. However, only a random sample of accounts was reviewed. Since then, there have been items brought forth that have indicated the need for better documentation of purchases.

“If there is weakness in our accounting system, then corrections should be made promptly,” said King. “It is time we not only correct any errors but take steps to insure that everyone is aware of policies and procedures and that they are followed.”

As a result, King will ask OMB for assistance in reviewing the accounting system of the Metro Council Business Office.

Sponsor:
Jim King (D) 10