Archive for the ‘City of Monroe’ Category

Monroe Council Budget MORE Than Mayo Budget

03/27/2015

The Fiscal Year 2015-2016 general fund budget for the City of Monroe that was introduced by the Monroe City Council at Tuesday’s meeting was either $1 million or $2 million MORE than that proposed by Mayor Jamie Mayo, according to budget documents reviewed by Lincoln Parish News Online.

Ever since the council budget was revealed, Mayo has been baying that it would be “catastrophic” to the city’s operations. Also, city department heads flocked to the Tuesday meeting and one after the other caterwauled that their departments would be crippled from “cuts” if the Mayo budget wasn’t adopted.

Either they don’t know how to read a spreadsheet, or they were dissembling.

According to the council’s general fund summary, the Mayo budget predicts revenues of $59,094,042.00, and expenditures of $59,125,076.00. The council budgeted $60,094,842.00 in revenue, with the same amount of expenditures, about $1 million more.

See here the document.

A footnote says all the figures for 2014, 2015, and departmental requests for 2016 were supplied by the administration.

However, the Mayo budget general fund summary that was supplied in the information packet for Tuesday’s meeting showed projected revenues of $58,058,028.00 and expenditures of $56,486,746.00, or $2 million less in revenues and $4 million less in expenditures.

See here the document.

See here the complete council budget document.

Of course, you’ll never see this analysis in The (Monroe, LA) News Star, as their fiscal stupidity is legendary.

Mayo’s Budget Amended on 3-1 Vote

03/25/2015

Controversial Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo’s 2015-2016 budget for the City of Monroe was amended at last night’s meeting on a 3-1 vote, and replaced with a budget crafted by the City Council.

Voting for the council budget were Armstrong, Blakes, and Wilson. Ezernack voted no, and Clark was not present.

The move didn’t sit well with Mayo, who exploded into a tirade, and accused Council Chair Ray Armstrong of lying, when he said he tried to meet with the administration.

Fumed Mayo, “They are not true, and you know they are not true.”

Armstong replied that he had emailed Mayo to ask for a meeting, and he had declined. Armstrong said he had the emails to prove his assertion.

Many department heads also spoke up against the council’s budget, which in many instances apparently were the same monetary amounts as was spent in last year’s budget.

Armstrong was not successful in getting the votes for an ordinance that would require bids for professional services. That motion failed on a 2-2 vote, with Ezernack and Wilson voting no.

As with the budget, many city department heads opposed the ordinance, saying it would cause undue delay in the city’s business.

Also commenting was CenturyLink VP & Assistant General Counsel Carrick Inabnett, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of the company.

Inabnett said he saw no reason to change procedures, as corruption wasn’t a problem with the city. Armstrong had said with a bid process, favoritism for preferred contractors would be less likely.

Said Inabnett, “With respect to this particular bid process, we’re unaware of any criminal or civil action that addresses this particular issue.”

Inabnett apparently forgot about the two former Monroe councilmen who were recently convicted for bribery and are serving time in federal prison, Robert “Red” Stevens and Arthur Gilmore.

Monroe City Council Tomorrow

03/23/2015

The Monroe City Council will meet tomorrow (Tuesday, 3/24), 6 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda.

Ouachita Citizen Newspaper Files Criminal Complaint Against District Court

03/22/2015

From the Citizen’s 3/20/15 article:

On Thursday, The Ouachita Citizen filed a criminal complaint against the district court with Fourth Judicial District Attorney Jerry Jones. On the public’s behalf, the newspaper is seeking several documents concerning law clerk Allyson Campbell in light of allegations that Campbell may have shredded court filings and delayed numerous writ applications.

We have often noted the syndicate style “combine” of the Ouachita political/legal/judicial machine. Kudos to Zach Parker, Johnny Gunter, and Sammy Hannah, Jr. for having the stones to take on the machine.

You’ll never, ever see this kind of investigative reporting at The (Monroe, LA) News Star, especially since the subject of the investigation (Allyson Campbell) writes a column for the News Star.

Sinyale Morrison Update

03/18/2015

From KTVE-TV10’s Nick Lawton

Legal Petition Claims Former Monroe City Engineer Owes Hundreds of Thousands in Mortgage Payments

MONROE (KTVE/KARD) — Former Monroe City Engineer Sinyale Morrison already faces charges of Payroll Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Fraud after a 2011 audit suggested she paid former city engineering employee Ricardo Nance for work he didn’t do.

She resigned in November 2012.

Now, a Petition for Executory Process by Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC was filed back on January 7th for the courts to force Morrison to pay $293,379.30 in mortgage payments.

The petition claims back on June 20, 2008, Morrison took out a mortgage on her property listed in the 2200 block of Pargoud Boulevard in Monroe.

The mortgage was for $314,500.

The documents show Morrison signed off on the mortgage, as did a notary, and Morrison gave a promissory note to Hometown Mortgage Services, Inc.

The petition reads Ocwen got involved when the note defaulted and their attornies claim it still hasn’t been fully paid.

Ocwen’s attornies filed the petition and on January 20th filed a Writ of Seizure and Sale with the Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office on Morrison’s mortgaged house.

For now, it’s unclear if Morrison still resides there, but Ouachita Parish records still list her as the owner of the home.

Records also read that all 2014 property taxes were paid.

The attorney filing the petition, Mark Garrison, wouldn’t return KTVE/KARD’s calls.

Those behind the petition are also looking for Morrison.

Its curator, Attorney Kenneth Trahan, published a legal advertisement in a Monroe newspaper asking anyone for Morrison’s whereabouts.

A court date has not been set for the petition and a day in court for the other charges is still pending.

When KTVE/KARD arrived at Morrison’s house, it appeared to be empty.

KTVE/KARD talked to Morrison’s new attorney, Katrina Jackson, who is also the District 16 State Representative.

Jackson told KTVE/KARD she was currently in Baton Rouge in appropriations hearings for the state budget and she won’t comment on any non-criminal matters against Morrison.

Morrison’s trial for the Payroll Fraud and Conspiracy to Commit Fraud charges was set for March 30th, but Jackson said it’s being pushed back to an unknown date.

As far as where Morrison currently lives, Jackson said she didn’t know Morrison’s personal information.

Sinyale Morrison Missing and Bankrupt?

03/16/2015

Seen in the legal advertising section of a Monroe, LA newspaper:

ANYONE KNOWING the whereabouts of Sinyale Woods Morrison, please contact Kenneth M. Trahan, Attorney at Law, 105 Vernon Street, 2nd Floor, West Monroe, Louisiana 71291, (318) 387-2776.

Monroe, LA
March 14, 15, 16, 2015

Morrison, the former City Engineer for the City of Monroe, had been indicted two years ago for payroll fraud, and is awaiting trial.

She also filed for bankruptcy in February of this year.

Monroe City Council Tonight

03/10/2015

The Monroe City Council will hold a regular bi-monthly meeting tonight (Tuesday, 3/10), 6:00 PM, Monroe City Hall, 400 Lea Joyner Expressway.

Here is the agenda.

Today’s Government & School Closings

03/05/2015

From KNOE-TV8

Organization Status
Arco Closed Thursday
Glenwood Cardiac Pulmonary Rehabilitation Center Closed Thursday: Ribbon cutting ceremony and Open House Canceled
House of Raeford Closed Thursday: Wednesday night shift/Thursday day shift canceled
West Ouachita Senior center and transit Closed Thursday
Bayou Gymnastics PreSchool Closed Thursday
Excelsior Academy Daycare Closed Thursday
Family Community Christian Daycare Closed Thursday
Jelly Bean Junction Daycare Closed Thursday
Mom’s Helper Daycare – Farmerville Closed Thursday
New Vision Child Development Center Closed Thursday
Saint Paul Day School MDO Closed Thursday
4th District Courts Closed Thursday
Monroe City Court Closed Thursday
Monroe City Offices Closed Thursday
Monroe City Transit Closed Thursday
Ouachita Parish Public Libraries Opening Late 1:00PM on Thursday
Ouachita Parish Public Libraries Opening Late 1:00PM on Thursday
State Offices Closed Thursday: Catahoula, Jackson, Lasalle, West Carroll
Beekman Charter School Closed Thursday
Caldwell Parish Schools Closed Thursday
Career Technical College Closed Thursday
Career Technical College Closed Thursday
Catahoula Parish Schools Closed Thursday
Cedar Creek School Closed Thursday
Celebrity Barber School Closed Thursday
Celebrity Stylist Beauty School Closed Thursday
Children’s Coalition Early Headstart Closed Thursday
College Prep Preschool & Daycare Closed Thursday
Cornerstone Christian Academy Closed Thursday
DArbonne Woods Charter School Closed Thursday
Delhi Charter School Closed Thursday
Delta Charter School Closed Thursday
Delta Head start Closed Thursday: Richland Parish, East Carroll Parish, Madison Parish
Downsville Charter School Closed Thursday
Early Head Start Closed Thursday: Richland Parish, East Carroll Parish, Madison Parish
East Carroll Parish Schools Closed Thursday
Family Community Christian School Closed Thursday
First Assembly Learning Center Closed Thursday
First Baptist Church – Delhi Preschool Closed Thursday
First West Wee School and MDO Closed Thursday
Franklin Academy Closed Thursday
Franklin Parish Schools Closed Thursday
Grace Episcopal School Closed Thursday
GRAMBLING LAB SCHOOLS K-12 Closed Thursday
Jackson Parish Schools Closed Thursday
Jelly Bean Junction Preschool Closed Thursday
Jesus Good Shepherd Closed Thursday
La Delta Community College Closed Thursday: Re-open Friday for employees only
LaSalle Parish Schools Closed Thursday: Schools and Central Office will be closed.
Learning Tech/Quest School Closed Thursday
Lincoln Headstart Closed Thursday
Lincoln Parish Schools Closed Thursday
Madison Parish Schools Closed Thursday
Monroe City Schools Closed Thursday
Morehouse Parish Schools Closed Thursday
New Vision Learning Academy Closed Thursday
Northeast Baptist School Closed Thursday
OMCAP Headstart Closed Thursday: Central Offices Also closed
Ouachita Christian School Closed Thursday
Ouachita Parish Schools Closed Thursday
Our Lady of Fatima School Closed Thursday
Richland Parish Schools Closed Thursday
St. Frederick High School Closed Thursday
Tallulah Charter School Closed Thursday
Tensas Parish Head Start Closed Thursday
Tensas Parish Schools Closed Thursday
Union Christian Academy Closed Thursday
Union Headstart Closed Thursday
Union Parish Schools Closed Thursday
Unitech Training Academy Closed Thursday
Vison Academy Charter School Closed Thursday
West Carroll Parish Schools Closed Thursday

Fourth Judicial Court (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) Audit Finding

03/02/2015

A just-released audit of the Fourth Judicial (Morehouse, Ouachita Parishes) District Court Expense Fund has revealed a finding of an instance where “some employees may have received compensation when they were not working.”

From the document:

Our audit procedures disclosed that some employees may have received compensation when they were not working. It appears that hours reported to payroll on time sheets might have been misclassified as time worked instead of leave time used. This condition was detected by management and investigated internally before the audit. However, the control system did not detect the condition.

The audit was done by Jonesboro’s Bosch and Statham, and was for the fiscal year 7/1/13 – 6/30/14.

The document noted:

The condition has at least the following effects:

1. State law may have been violated.
2. The Court may have compensated some employees for time that they did not work.
3. If the Court compensated an employee(s) for time that was not worked, that employee also accumulated leave time that was not earned.

In response, management said:

“The prior policies and procedures had been in place for years and had been effective; however, when a possible problem was called to the Court’s attention, an immediate investigation was undertaken with the assistance of outside counsel and other consulting professionals. As a result, prompt remedial actions were implemented to increase controls, including policy revisions and additional staff training. In fact, the auditor’s recommendations were implemented prior to the issuance of this finding and are being monitored for continued compliance.”

See here the complete document.

Monroe Audit Budget to Become Council Responsibility

02/27/2015

Perhaps the most notable occurrence at last night’s meeting of the Monroe City Council in a budget hearing was the revelation that the line item for external audit expense had been moved from the administration category to that part of the budget under the control of the council.

What that means is the council will be responsible for hiring the auditor that does the annual financial report for the city.

Formerly, the administration hired the auditor, and the council approved the hire.

Otherwise, the council spent the meeting going over dozens of budget line items, asking questions about revenues and expenses, with little out of the ordinary.

Fielding most of the questions were Budget Director Curtis Heard, Director of Accounting Stacey Haynie, and Director of Administration David Barnes.

At the beginning of the meeting, Council Chair Ray Armstrong (District 1) noted that the purpose of the hearing was to provide the council and the public with in-depth information about the budgeting process.

Said Armstrong, “One of our major functions is to review and control and pass the budget.”

Notable in the audience were two former Legislative Auditors, David Greer and Alan Brown.

Greer was most recently the Fiscal Administrator appointed to oversee the Town of Gibsland, and Brown was often seen in the courtroom during the trial of former Jonesboro mayor Leslie Thompson.


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