Jonesboro Raids Savings to pay 90K in Back Taxes

Two weeks after the Louisiana Legislative Auditor (LLA) seemed to give the Town of Jonesboro a relatively clean bill of health – financially speaking – the Board of Aldermen were forced this afternoon to liquidate a $76 thousand bank certificate of deposit to pay toward federal and state tax withholdings that are in arrears for more than $90 thousand.

The federal withholding was about $34 thousand short, and the state withholding was about $57 thousand deficient.

See here the documents.

This depletes the town’s reserve that can be used to pay for unforeseen circumstances. The other CDs cannot be used for expenditures other than that for which the specific fund is dedicated.

This is the second time this year that a CD has been liquidated to pay bills. Last February $169 thousand was taken from savings to pay bills to contractors that were threatening to file liens against the town.

Despite promises to do so, that CD was never replenished.

District B’s Renee Stringer asked why the town’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) – Ruston CPA Edwards, Wade & Perry – never mentioned the magnitude of the problem during the past several months while the firm was contracted to the town.

District A’s Sam Lamkin echoed that question. Lamkin said that when EW&P partner Tonya Wade was asked during council meetings if the town was current on its bills, she always said “yes.”

Stinger asked the town’s controversial mayor Leslie Thompson if there was more to come. Did we have “more bills in arrears?” she asked.

Thompson was forced to admit that there was more bad financial news to come, but would not say how much that might be.

The motion to liquidate the CD passed on a 4-1 vote with Stringer voting no. She wanted to try and cut the budget, rather than raid savings.

Asked for comment on today’s developments with the town, Legislative Auditor Daryl Purpera said “I was not aware that this was about to happen.”

We will have additional reporting on today’s meeting later this evening.

49 Responses to “Jonesboro Raids Savings to pay 90K in Back Taxes”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Hurry up and put the audio on thetruthatjonesboro. I got to hear this!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    i would almost bet my last dollar that 3 1/2 yrs from now you re-elect him again for a third term, that is there is still a town to be mayor of…

  3. Devine ;) Says:

    Looks like someone needs to call Sam the bankruptcy attorney. His number is in the book. Look it up!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    Jonesboro has made channel 10 news now for three nights in a row. Will there be a fourth?

  5. sunrisesunset Says:

    Of course Daryl Purpera did not know this was coming. When the clowns went to BR, they only told them what seemed to make the TJ look good. I am beginning to think that those in BR as just as dumb as the TJ.

    Let’s see what BR will do now. Bring it on!!!!

    • Denise T. Says:

      Go back and watch the video……Purpera tells Joy Irwin to speak about the outstanding issues….she briefly touches on “tax issues” Yes indeed they know it. The CFO got thrown under the bus today, too bad she wasn’t there to defend herself.

      It never ends. The main one is the wonderful James Roy Fannin, he makes all the deals in Baton Rouge.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    A 90000+ CFO who won’t tell the flipping facts about the abilities or lack thereof of the administrative staff or the mayor. Gives advice that is not followed and makes the CFO look as useless as a screen door in a submarine. Keep fronting for the “move the town forward” folks. Check the gearshift the town is moving in reverse at a high rate of speed.

    • Tenya Says:

      Thank James Roy Fannie, he developed her role………..

    • Anonymous Says:

      CFO is very smart….she gonna pay her own taxes from her high paid 1099 earnings….Very clever lady!

      Notice Leslie’s new clothing….snappy dresser he and his wife both are….TOJ footing that bill with the town debit card? The way he justifies his travel, Leslie might just think when he travels for the Mayor job, that includes his tailor’s bill as well…..never know with that cat!

  7. ghost town in making Says:

    How bout a big round of applause and a big “thanks for nothing” to Jonathan Stewart, Jim Fannin, Daryl Purpera and the rest of the people responsible for this town going under. We have begged you for help for years now. Pat yourselves on the back and know that you are part of the reason that our town is destroyed.

  8. Seriously Says:

    As a citizen of Jonesboro, I would like to know why the state has not stepped in & done something about the issues in Jonesboro. I realize this is a “local” issue but something has to be done. Some people actually care what happens in Jonesboro. The ignorance needs to stop. The town has went down in a BIG way. Also, if money has been misused in an illegal or improper manner, all parties involved in the wrong doing should suffer the consequences. Grown, competent adults should take responsibility for their actions. Why should anyone be an exception to the rule?
    Race has played a big factor in this mess, I am so sick of hearing it from both sides. When will all races see past race?! Take responsibility people……
    Just makes me want to vomit!

  9. Anonymous Says:

    Wonder what other bills are behind, since he wouldn’t tell the council. They are as blind to the facts as we are. They should not be kept in the dark on the finances of the town. Just like these past due taxes, they should have been made aware of this a year ago, not when it becomes almost $100,000 behind. So much for the CFO keeping everyone informed. They have lied to not only us, but the council as well. But like Renee said, he got his raise and this was never mentioned until now. Sad, sad, sad…..

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Unbelievable. How can this continue with no consequences. Somebody has to be held responsible.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    You all so enjoy picking on our wonderful Mayor and his council.

    They keep trying even though you keep trying to knock them down.

    How you know how old these past due taxes are? The taxes maybe from years ago from another mayor or the old town clerk.

    You just want to blame Leslie and he said at the last meeting in Baton Rouge that you gonna look at the little, few undone items and never acknowlege just how much he has done.

    I sure hope you all do not ruin his desire to lead this town! A third term is due this good man! And bless the heart of his lovely wife….think about her feelings….with all you folks talking smack against her man.

    Prayer is needed!!!

    • Anonymous Says:

      Yes, prayer is needed. We need to pray that BR will wake up and quit looking the other way while this town is bankrupted and destroyed.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Talk smack, indeed! I’ll agree that prayer is needed. We need to pray that our DA and BR officials will wake up and quit looking the other way while this town is being bankrupted and destroyed.

    • LeMarcus Says:

      Smack, yes lips are smacked repeatedly after licking the plate clean of all available funds……then the sweet nectar of knowing that the greatest division of the races have occurred due to one man’s total incompetence. Complete unabashed greed, ignorance, denial and blatant stupidity cloaked in the perpetual victim of the proverbial excuse, ” why is everybody picking on me’ mentality.

    • Anonymous Says:

      i dont recall any other mayor or council in years past having to dip into CD’s in the bank…if you can find some that did please share the info with us.. the “look at me” goes a long way when things are going good but why dont you hear it when he screws up?? then you hear ” aint my fault, they picking on me cause im black”..

    • sunrisesunset Says:

      Enough already!!!! You know something, I think you are just as stupid as the know-nothing mayor that sits on the throne.

      How can you be so blind when you see the facts and hear the facts that appear in black and white, neighboring newspapers, TV stations, etc.?

      I think you need an education of business knowledge just as those idiots at TJ need. But, they can just comprehend a certain amount, and then everything else is way above their head. So, it probably would be yours, also.

  12. Anonymous Says:

    So now, all of TOJ’s discretionary savings have been depleted, nearly $400K was spent improperly, withholding taxes and other bills are in arrears, along with a host of other shenanigans too numerous to mention…exactly what else does this man have to do before he is removed from office? This is an absolute outrage.

  13. Pink Bar's Says:

    HOLD UP ! I know how the CFO was being payed now ! The town is behind 90,000 in taxes and the CFO made 90,000 to help out ! WOW that has to be where the money for taxes went right . If the taxes was not payed where did the money for them go ?

    • Anonymous Says:

      My thought exactly. Tonya Wade, knew the taxes were not being paid and yet, gladly ran to the bank with her Town of Jonesboro pay check.

      And you want to think she “was just doing her job she was contracted to do”… you all going to defend her now?

      The lovely Tonya Wade made certain she was paid but did not make certain the town employee’s withholding for taxes made it to the IRS.

      And so funny….now she is going to be paid even more!

      Leslie and Tonya are working so very hard to have a clear audit…all for the new sewer grant money.

      This is beyond belief….want to bet she is gonna get paid in Jan and Feb and the IRS will once again fall behind?

      Remember, Leslie used the sewer funds to pay Alma Brashear for court transcripts …..cause he is the mayor not cause Alma worked on the sewer.

      He will spend all the money…no matter what fund it is from and once it spend, you can not get it back….and we see he ain’t going to be punished anytime soon.

      • Anonymous Says:

        And the highly paid CFO Wade was contracted to approve ALL expenditures. So she approved paying for a court transcript from the sewer funds?

        • Anonymous Says:

          Yes, she sure did. She is a bigger player than most folks think.

          Why do you think Leslie would not allow any one to speak to her without him being present?

          Renee Stringer attempted to meet with her and Leslie did not allow it.

          No one speaks to the lovely Tonya Wade without Leslie’s permission.

          • sunrisesunset Says:

            Well, if I had to ask permission from the esteemed mayor to speak to the CFO, then I would defy him and speak to her anyway. Freedom of speech, I think it is called. So, therefore, he would be denying my freedom and right.

            Maybe Renee should call the CFO by phone…..say one night after working hours.

            • Anonymous Says:

              Tonya Wade has to listen to Leslie….he signs her checks….and Leslie told Renee in front of Tonya Wade that no one meets with Tonya Wade without Leslie being present.

              This incident was also discussed at the Legislative Auditors meeting in September.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Did you all hear the reminder that Thompson’s $35,000 raise was paid. That’s 1/3 of the tax money that should have been paid to the IRS and the state. Maybe this is all good. Surely they will shut things down here at town hall. We still have to find about $15,00 to pay our tax debt. Where in the world will they find it? He has raided all available funds. No town workers jobs? No fire department? No police department.

      Bet Gates City wishes they had never associated with these wonderful business practices. Their Sewer is important to TofJ because it could bring in mone grant money for us to run through.

  14. Outside Observer Says:

    I have made no comment regarding this because I do not live inside the town limits of Jonesboro. But I feel it is time someone faced the truth. Yes, I think it is a shame that those with the power to do something have elected to do nothing. But as Paul Harvey used to say…”and now for the rest of the story”. The ones that are truly responsible for all this are the 60-70 percent of the voters who decided to “wait for the run-off” when Mayor Thompson was first elected and who decided not to vote at all in the last election. As far as “what can be done now”? Nothing, unless you are willing to stand up and be counted. There is a way to try to remove an elected Mayor from office and it is called a ReCall Petition. However, once you sign it, your name is made public and I feel that is the reason there has not been one started. Just remember when the next election rolls around, if you do not go to the polls and vote you will have to live with the consequences for another four years.

  15. true enough Says:

    Outside Observer is right. Everyone needs to put up or shut up. I signed the first recall many moons ago. But, all the other puddy tats in this town wouldn’t sign it. So, really…SHUT UP and stop even posting if you are too chicken to sign a recall. It is blatantly obvious we are on our own.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Where are the recall petitions that were going to be available? Surely this will prompt everyone with good sense to sign up!

  17. Don't live in town either Says:

    The Outside Observer is right. If those of you who live in the TOJ who are eligible to vote in the elections that effect your governing body don’t care enough to drag yourselves out on election day, then you have yourselves to blame for the mess your town is in! If you are writing comments and really could vote to change things, grow a spine and stand up and fight for what is right. Go to your town council meetings. Speak out. Get together and pick out a good candidate to run for mayor. Just one candidate that people will stand behind. Get out and vote at election time. It is disgusting to me how apathetic people have become.

    • grow a spine Says:

      Grown a spine? That said by someone who doesn’t use their name. Just sayin……

      You don’t even know what people have done so until you have the facts perhaps your ignorance is best kept a secret.

  18. John Q Says:

    Keep your eyes on the workman comp. bill. My guess is the town is 50 or 60 thousand behind on it. And what about the state income tax, the liability insurance and the ss contributions? How many CDs do we have. Lord I hope nothing happens to our water system were we may need $500,000 in emergency funds.

    • Vernon Jackson Says:

      Fear not, Fannie holds the nozzle to the money pump…….he can shoot more to Jonesboro…….you are good to go!

  19. Anonymous Says:

    This is a total disgrace!! I don’t live in Jonesboro, but, do you people realize what a laughing stock you have become? I would certainly hope that the next time a D.A. or Jim Fannin runs you will have enough sense to vote no. I have never in my 60 + years seen anything like this for the town of Jonesboro. This is an embarrassment for the whole parish. Someone needs to wake up and do something about this embarrassing mess. Jonathan Stewart should be arrested for non-action. He must really owe Thompson “big time”. Shameful!!

    • hmmm Says:

      Thankfully, just because I live here I don’t equate my value with the town of Jonesboro. It is that kind of mentality that won’t sign recall petitions or stand up for anything out of fear of being ridiculed or called out. People don’t want the truth on the news because it makes “us” look bad. That is part of the problem. Yes, the mayor is a joke and so are his four “yes vote” council members. But, it is them, not “us”.

      I hate to see what this town looks like this time next year.

    • sunrisesunset Says:

      Since Jonesboro is only a small percentage of the voters of the whole parish, I tend to think that anytime Fannin or the DA runs for office, the voters will put them back in. After all, the biggest majority of registered voters in the parish no nothing of what is going on in the wonderful Town of Jonesboro. Therefore, they do not know how corrupt Fannin and Johnathon Stewart are, nor the stunts they have pulled regarding the TofJ.

    • sunrisesunset Says:

      When one factors in all the registered voters in the parish, I believe Fannin and the DA will continue to be elected. After all, most of the voting residents of the parish do not know anything of the mess Fannie and Stewart are helping to create by bowing down to the esteemed mayor of Jonesboro.

      Then, and only then, will there ever be “good riddance” to those two. And, at some point soon, maybe “good riddance” can be uttered to the esteemed mayor.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Fannie can not run for his seat again….he can maybe be the next mayor…and move in to Leslie’s house!

        • Anonymous Says:

          Fannin is going to run for Senator because this is Kostelkas final term. Wake up Jackson Parish and realize these politicians dont care bout none of yall. Gotta keep that govt gig going and watch their personal assetts grow while you common folk get poorer by the month. Wake up and pay attention.

  20. Pink Bar's Says:

    It’s going to look like an old horse thats been rode hard and put up wet to many times !

  21. Devine ;) Says:

    Town’s broke! I guarantee ole Les will run for a higher office next time.

    • Anonymous Says:

      he can get Fannin’s seat! It pays well….so he won’t need the extra income that won’t be available.

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