Board takes first step, but questions remain

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Our city fathers are to be commended for adopting an expense andtravel voucher system for the city of Brookhaven. They did so atTuesday’s city board meeting.

While we praise their action, we are disappointed they did notgo a step further and ask for an audit of the books by the StateAudit Department.

Serious allegations were made by former Ward 4 Alderman JohnRoberts and former Alderman-at-large Henry Newman during the cityelections this past summer. They challenged the mayor over hismileage reimbursements and multiple trips to restaurants and casinohotels on the Gulf Coast during a 22-month period beginning in July1999 and ending in April 2001. Documents and records they producedbeg some questions.

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One alderman told us it would cost the city too much to have astate audit, and city auditor told the board that since the mileageand travel expenditures were approved by the former board, thenthose expenditures were legal.

We are not sure we understand the logic of either statement, butwe do think it would be in the best interest of the city to removethis cloud and once and for all clear the air. If money wasmisspent, it should be paid back. If the allegations were nothingbut dirty politics during the heat of a mayoral election, thenapologies are in order.