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Cordele city leaders explain audit lateness

The city of Cordele's financial audit is completed but much later than it should have been.

Incomplete bookkeeping pushed the audit back and FOX 31 wanted to know why.

Auditors said the June 2014 audit was pushed back so many times because of revenues and receivables not being reconciled and many other accounting functions not being completed.

FOX 31 spoke with the Zack Wade, the chairman of the commission and asked how things were not getting done and city leaders weren't aware of it.

Wade said the city commission wasn't aware of the problems that cropped up until they got copies of the audit.

"You have to understand that we as commissioners are in charge of the policy. The day to day operations is under the city manager. The city manager works for the city commission but the actual department heads answer to him. We did not know the situation as it was until the auditor briefed us on it," Wade said.
He also said the finance director was in charge of getting things done and that the finance director answers to the city manager.

So we asked how it all went unnoticed to the city manager.

"He constantly was checking on it but there was problems but the finance director it was her responsibility, that positions responsibility to get it done but the city manager was aware that things weren't going exactly right," Wade said. "The one that was doing it did not seem to need any help, did not want any help," he added.

There were also concerns raised at the city commission meeting about a secret account that public works had that wasn't included in the audit.

But Wade told FOX 31 that the account was thoroughly checked out and nothing irregular was found. He said the money was used to send flowers to employees in bereavement.

"The money was turned in at the end of the year. Every year it's turned in, it's accounted for but there was some money spent there and it's being addressed but nothing illegal. But it's going to be thoroughly checked back the last 4, 5 years. But we don't expect to find anything," Wade said.

Wade said he has no problems with the civic group My Brother's Keeper still sending letters out to the Department of Justice, The State Attorney and to the Sheriff's Office. He boasted of the work done by the auditing firm Mauldin Jenkins and said the company will continue to their audits.

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