ST. GABRIEL — Iberville Parish Water District No. 2 board members indicated Wednesday night they would try to regroup after getting hit by a pair of independent audits blasting the body’s fiscal affairs, accounting and money handling.
As a result of the audit findings, the district is no longer eligible for state or federal funding due to unacceptable financial practices of its employees, according to the reports.
BUNKIE — An elderly man who for years managed the Southwest Avoyelles Waterworks District could be charged by a grand jury within a month following a state audit that found nearly $40,000 missing from the district’s bank account.
Avoyelles Parish District Attorney Charlie Riddle III said he’ll bring the case against Frank Palermo to a grand jury in August or September. Riddle said he could not comment on the specifics.
A recent audit report by the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s Office said Palermo was short $38,648 that should have been deposited in the district’s bank account from January 2009 to March 2011. The report, investigated and prepared by the legislative auditor’s in-house accountants, said there was $266,503 deposited during the period when there should have been $305,151.
The report said there is evidence of theft, bribery and filing false public records. There also could be a violation of the district’s loan agreement with the Farmers Home Administration because not all receipts were deposited, the report said.
Among the problems the audit found: people with active water meters were not on the district’s books as customers; payments recorded in ledgers were not deposited; and cash payments that were not recorded or deposited.
Palermo’s attorney dismissed the findings of the audit and said the former superintendent left the district in “great financial shape” but that “record-keeping was not his specialty.”