Thursday, August 01, 2019

State Auditor General Forensic Audits Required at St. Augustine Beach, St. Johns County Sheriff's Office -- Millions at Issue -- It's Our Money.

I'm delighted that Mayor Undine George and City of St. Augustine Beach Commissioners are "all onboard" with the need for a forensic audit after a $414,000 deficit was found in the Road and Bridge Fund.  Commissioner Samora and Mayor George brought up the forensic audit at the July 2, 2019 meeting, and I raised it again last night, July 31, 2019 at a special meeting.

Mayor George, Commissioners Donald Samora, Dylan Rumrell, Maggie Kostka and Vice Mayor Margaret England all appeared shocked when they learned at the July 2, 2019 meeting that longtime City CFO MELISSA BURNS abruptly resigned June 24, 2019, effective July 10, 2019.  

BURNS' resignation came one week after the April 29, 2019 audit report of hundreds of +$421,000 in fund deficits was made public at a June 17, 2019 special meeting.  

We must watch ALL of our governments. Please support my zealous independent investigative reporting and public interest advocacy.  Thank you. 

The St. Augustine Beach City Commissioners are "all on board" for a forensic audit, Mayor Undine Celeste Pawlowski George and Commmissioners indicated at their July 31, 2019 meeting. Thank you.

Still waiting on documents and explanations for the abrupt risignation of MELISSA BURNS, 17-year employee whose undergraduate and graduate degrees were paid by St. Augustine Beach taxpayers,

BURNS bungled Beach Blast accounting, resulting in embezzlement.

BURNS apparently violated GASB by having two deficits, totaling +$421,000 as found by the Auditor:

2018 audit, Notes to financial statements:

(13) Fund Deficit:
As of September 30, 2018, the Road and Bridge Fund had a deficit fund balance of $404,775, and the
Capital Projects Fund, presented as “Other Governmental Funds,” had a deficit fund balance of $16,746.

Section 10.554(1)(i)2., Rules of the Auditor General, requires that we communicate any recommendations to improve financial management. In connection with our audit, we noted the following recommendation:
2018-001 – Fund Deficits
During our analysis of fund balance classifications and amounts, we noted that the Road and Bridge Fund and Capital Projects Fund have fund deficit balances. Based on recent year trends of related revenues and expenses, the General Fund will likely need to subsidize the Road and Bridge Fund, similar to what has been done in prior years. The fund deficit in the Capital Projects Fund is due to an interfund payable to the General Fund. We recommend the appropriate transfers be approved in a timely manner to ensure positive fund balances are shown in subsequent years or consider closing any inactive funds, as necessary.

Meanwhile, St. Johns County Commission needs to follow suit and request a State Auditor General forensic audit of Sheriff DAVID SHOAR's $700,000+ embezzlement by Finance Director RAE BRUTNELL, for which SHOAR has refused a government audit.

It's our money.

It's time for SHOAR to be suspended by Governor DeSantis.

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