Councilman John Friend Takes Courier and Press Article to Task

City Councilman John Friend
City Councilman John Friend


I have had the opportunity to read the article concerning Mr. Garrett, and the slant the writer placed on cronizism. For the record, Mr. Garrett has NEVER been an associate of our firm. I have known him for several years and have had the opportunity to review many of his analytical reports, and, I can assure you and the citizens of Evansville, that we will be well served by his analytical abilities. He was the one that discovered the $1.6 million dollar error concerning the Ford Arena that led to the SBOA’s audit, now underway. I informed our Council President of this situation back in July of 2012. His resume is very clear that he holds a CPA, and CMA certificate. It is well known that CPA’s & CMA’s can be classified in two categories, (1) active, and, (2) Inactive. Every three years, a CPA must submit their continuing professional education [so many hours in tax subjects, and so many in Accounting & Auditing] equaling a total hours of 120. If the CPA wishes to go inactive, meaning that he/she wishes not to maintain the CPE requirements, they will be considered inactive, NOT DISBARRED. The same situation goes for the CMA. So, the C&P’s slant that, somehow, this individual is no longer a CPA/CMA is grossly inaccurate. The council needs a consultant and, I, without any reservation, stake my reputation as a CPA for 35 years, stand behind our decision to engage Mr. Garrett. And the suggestion, that we should bid out this contract, as Mr. Weaver seems to indicate, well, he should review the record. Over the past five years, this City has never required a bid in the utility department relative to services, totaling over $31,000,000. The two accounting firms engaged to reconcile had open ended service arrangements and one still continues, i.e. Harding Shymanski = $76,000 and Umbaugh through December 2012 = $52,000.

Mr. Lloyd referred a document, precisely, the timeline analysis that Mr. Garrett prepared after interviewing Tyler Technologies and other documentation. Consequently, the CP should have his referred document. ( See Attached) His assessment was sent to all council members, mainly to present the landscape and to answer some council members questions on Mr. Garrett’s activities. Unfortunately, it was intended for my review, not the entire council. If the records are in order upon the SBOA arrival, it will only represent an unfortunate, but, forgotten assorted affair.

In summary, John, this article represents a total distraction from what could very well be in store for this community should the Gateway reporting, just days aways, be inaccurate. As such, Mr. Lloyd indicated that the accounts are reconciled through December 2012, off only $4,000, at the last Council meeting, than, Mr. Garrett should be able to begin his analysis forthwith.

As always, please feel free to contact me.

John Friend,CPA and 5th Ward City Councilmen

Foot note: This letter was sent to the CCO by Mr. Friend this evening and he ask us to post it as a letter to the Editor. This letter was sent to Courier and Press writer John Martin. We hereby post it without opinion or bias.


  1. I think John Friend is a liar on this. Pants On Fire time.

    From the official City COuncil minutes of 10/08/2012

    Councilman Friend: Madam President, we talked about maybe bringing on our own consultant for oversight. At least in the process I think for, maybe the next 12 months to assure that this whole element we are in this transition, we get proper feedback. And we talked about this earlier. The gentleman is a CPA. He’s got credentials in Project Management. He has also worked in IT. He is with one of the big outfits here in town. I would strongly recommend that we consider doing this, moving forward and acquiring him.

    Care to comment on this, CCO Editors?

    • You may be technically correct that Friend is spinning a bit to try and explain away his statement from the council meeting. Garrett did indeed have a CPA and a CMA at one point in time and allowed them to lapse because his career did not require him to keep his earned license current. Garrett’s skills should be what are in question here not the status of his license.

      Does Evansville need this service? Clearly that is a YES. Is David Garrett doing a good job? Clearly he is. So in the spirit of fixing the mess that two CPA firms hired out of cronyism and Jenny Collins could not even calculate lets get off of Garrett’s butt and let him do this job for what is a paltry sum of money.

      If you really want to know why this is all of a sudden an issue look at the people who filed the complaint have to lose or gain by keeping Garrett on the case. Friend may have lied some as seems to be natural for politicians, but the truth is that Garrett’s credentials are being questions to discredit the truths that are about to be exposed to the detriment of some of the vermin that depend on political cronyism to survive.

  2. Icing on the cake…..

    October 22, 2012

    “Councilman Friend: Yeah, we discussed Mr. Garrett’s qualifications. He’s a CPA. He is also a CMA, which is a Certified Managerial Accountant. He is also a project…he’s got a certification is project management. Very well versed. Knows his analytical abilities really well. I know that first hand.”

    A “lapsed” certification does NOT count!

    CCO Editors, the ball is in your court for comment

  3. I think any party who allowed this to go on until we had to have an external audit ought to shut the h up-no one said a word about Mr. Garrett’s credentials (or cked them either) until the rats started hopping out of the bag, and he had something bad to report.
    Why don’t we quit playing games? All of you were elected to be responsible for the city’s business affairs, if you messed up, WHY oh WHY can’t you all man up and confess it, take your licks, or HELP put things RIGHT?
    WHY didn’t you do what was right for your people in the first place? If you ask for a job, and you know what is involved-do the job responsibly. If you can’t do the job, walk away-just be honest-is that too difficult? I don’t understand why this is so difficult-don’t wait until bones are dancing out of your closets-do what is right. If you don’t,you’re going to be caught anyway, and you’ll look that much more inept. or greedy-do the right thing. No one cares about juicy gossip, I care that a decent man TRIED to do what was right, and he got chewed up and spat out. The reasons for it are slowly becoming all too clear. Your descendants will have to carry your names, and all that goes with that…
    And Mr. Weaver? Every time your mouth opens, we all look for whomever is belching smoke to discover whose rump you are blowing smoke up THIS time. Whatever happened to you? You were once a respectable fellow, I thought, now you just seem like someone’s toady, and it’s just sad.

  4. First of all, Mr. Councilman Friend, the ugly building you make reference to is actually named the FORD CENTER.
    We paid a friggin’ mountain of money for the ugly building – at least get the name of it correct on behalf of the taxpayers you serve and who pay the bills on the building. (Getting the name of it wrong leads me to believe that if you don’t even know the name of the building right across the street from the Civic Center than you are a MAROON (as Bugs Bunny would say).
    Second of all Mr. Councilman Friend, I don’t believe anything else you wrote in this article, either.
    Liar liar indeed.
    So Eric Williams has lax control of his deputies.
    John Friend is a proven liar.
    Jonathan Weaver fired employees in the assessor’s office without proper cause and had lawsuits filed against the county costing us all tons of money.
    Who else do the democrats have to run for mayor in 2 years?
    And don’t say Connie Robinson or Missy Mosby. At least not without puking in your mouth just a little bit.

  5. John, these past two articles have been dang good. If this was what you did all the time we’d have a dang Benjamin Bosse back in office. Instead of dodging the questions I’ve asked you about Roberts and why you caved into Winnecke, you should be writing these articles which imo is the main goal of the cco- bringing to light the real way the city operates.

  6. Thank you Mr Friend. You have cleared up any questions about Mr Garrett or his credentials. The squirming and whining coming from certain Council members is surely due to fear of the truth being laid bare. Their whining is pitiful and pathetic.
    Mr Garrett has cleaned the financial “grease-trap” of this City. We owe him a “thank you,” a “job well done,” and “payment with bonus.”
    Thank you Mr Friend and Mr Garrett. …

  7. The courts need to be involved and some people’s need to be in front of the bench and find out who in the heck is involved and guilty parties be held accountable. No bonus for mr garret , pay the man and thank him

  8. “Unfortunately, it was intended for my review, not the entire council.”

    A very telling statement. I believe Mr Friend is just using this as an opportunity to continue his mayoral campaign at taxpayer expense. He wants us to fund his next photo op. He didn’t do his job as Finance Chair. Now he has hired someone to try to pin that on someone else. It’s called “bait and switch”.

  9. “… the C&P’s slant that, somehow, this individual is no longer a CPA/CMA is grossly inaccurate…”

    Yesterday I looked at the list of the State Board of Accountancy. It lists three, not two categories, as to the state of their licenses. It lists Active, Inactive and Expired.

    Active and inactive CPAs renew their status every three years. This renewal requires a filing fee for that status. The expired “license” indicates that he didn’t bother to file a one page renewal and pay the fee.

    Friend is listed as “Active.” Garrett is listed as “Expired.”

    Now you have more of the story. Judge for yourself.

    • Sort of lke a licensed electrician who gets a job at a electrical contractor and decides to let his own license expire because he doesn’t need it for his job and he would rather use the excessive annual fee to feed his family. It does not make him any less of an electrician or diminish his skill. It just means he did not pay the state, or the city, or the county, their cost to do business fee. So What?

  10. I bet you ten bucks that dirtbag Weaver filed the complaint. I bet you ten more that Winnecke’s attack dog Steve Schaefer was in on it too.

    • Does it matter who filed the complaint? The CCO lives/survives on Moles.

      The question is: Is there any violation? When is it a good idea to not to get quotes–particularly if your personal friend is involved in receiving taxpayer money for worked performed for the Finance Chairman?

      John Friend screw-up and he misspoke about the credentials of his friend. As Chairman of the Finance Committee, he should of knew more what was going on regarding the fact the City’s financial numbers were not properly accounted for because of the new accounting system. Now John keeps digging a deeper hole for himself. That is not good for anybody.

  11. Are we living in the land of Oz? Don’t mind the man behind the curtain…in just a short time, as Friend indicates, the State Board of Accouts [the auditors] will be in the driver’s seat. If as the Administration, i.e. Lloyd, has stated publicly, “the books are in balance”, this situation will be yesterday’s news. However, if this is NOT the case, well, this city will be the subject of an ugly report.
    One has to wonder how the financial community will respond? If the report is in any way negative, the cost could be millions in extra in extra expenses. Bad records = higher interest rates. This could very well echo the previous year when the auditors “threw their hand up” trying to unravel the SPAGHETTI BOWL, called records. Dorothy, we are not in Kansas, anymore!!!

  12. Got your back:

    I disagree with your comment concerning competence. A CPA, attorney, physician, nurse, electrician, plumber, architect, or any other occupation or profession whch requires continuing professional education does so for a reason, that reason being to keep current with the ever changing knowledge in that profession. An electrician or architect who is not up to date with the building codes could make an installation which could result in a fire or make glass fall out of a building. A physician or nurse who is not up to date could kill or maim you. A CPA or attorney who is not up to date could cause you to go to jail.

    And I suggest you check the IRS requirements for any one who prepares federal income tax returns.

    When you mention not renewing a license to save that money for family needs, could you also be referring to not paying union dues? See where that will get you with your fellow union members.

  13. A word of support for David Garrett””’I hired David when I was City Controllor…..his title was ” internal auditor “——-David and I flushed out many wrong doing……having 2 fired for fraud. David is a very detailed person and will perform well for the Council.

    • Inadequate response, Walt.

      Internal auditor refers to an auditor who works at the behest of his employer, in the instance you are referring to, you.

      The city council hired, at the urging of Friend, hired him to function as an external (generally referred to as independent) auditor. As such, his primary responsiblility to to the general public, including bankers, underwriters, etc.

      Walt, you kinow better, so we should expect better of you.

Comments are closed.