IS IT TRUE May 9, 2014

Mole #??
Mole #??

IS IT TRUE if the release of the City of Evansville’s 2014 audits is true to form in being released at the time when the public is least interested in news the release will happen after 3 pm on May 23rd just when most everyone has the three day Memorial Day weekend on their minds?…the intention for this release to happen in a “couple of weeks” was telegraphed to us this morning through the Mayor’s office in an interview with the Courier and Press?…a “couple of weeks” from today is coincidentally exactly May 23rd carefully chosen to minimize the impact of an unflattering pair of audits?…if bookmaking were legal in Indiana someone could create lots of action among those in the know on the subject of the release of these audits which as we have stated many times are alleged to be “ADVERSE OPINIONS” or in other words THE DEATH PENALTY OF AUDIT OPINIONS?

IS IT TRUE some Civic Center Moles have told us about the existence of a transcript of the exit interview that exists and is in the hands of people outside of the clutches of government that will expose any changes that may be made to these audits since the exit interview was conducted on March 12th?…it has now been 58 days since the exit interview and counting?…much mischief can occur in 58 days with respect to massaging the words or even the opinions if there are some willing players to make such things happen?…in our examination of the audit publication dates of other Indiana cities the City County Observer has checked over 20 of the largest cities and all of the audits were released in a timely manner whether the audits were flattering or not?…one city stands alone as lingering now for 17 months after the end of the audit period for reporting and that city is named Evansville?

IS IT TRUE given the fact that the 2011 audit was given a DISCLAIMER OPINION and the SBOA knew going in that the books had not been reconciled it would be expected that they would send the most competent and politically unencumbered team to Evansville they could have sent?…there are rumblings around town that he SBOA sent a bunch of unlicensed book keepers without a CPA license?…we are choosing not to believe such rumblings but we do understand that there is a faction of local government with a vested interest in preemptively discrediting the coming audit?…if the transcript of the exit interview and the actual report do not match there should be some forensic auditing to follow?

IS IT TRUE Mayor Winnecke opined yesterday that he is confident that the Hilton brand will be on the downtown convention hotel if it should ever really get built?…it is a mystery to us why the Mayor should even care what the brand is as long as it is a quality 3 Star or higher brand?…it would actually be a better move to eliminate competition for Hilton loyalty programs if the downtown hotel was any brand other than Hilton?…there is no logical place for political opinions on the brand choices of private businesses?…Hyatt, Marriott, or Sheraton would be perfectly good choices and would eliminate some of the sour grapes associated with this whole subsidized hotel process?

IS IT TRUE the City of Evansville has placed a social media policy on the shoulders of it’s employees that is pretty darn restrictive?…it is certain that the Facebook posts of Cemetery Director Chris Cooke earlier in the year inspired this new policy?…this new policy is so strict that it may violate the 1st Amendment that guarantees free speech?

IS IT TRUE we were asked whether or not the City of Evansville’s Fire and Police Departments have filed any complaint with the Federal Labor Board over working hours for which they are not being paid due to the City of Evansville willfully violating the comp time accrual laws?…we do not have an answer to that question but are quite curious to know?


  1. Front page article in C&P this morning re: the 2012 Audit delay.

    When discussing the next Monday night vote for IU Medical School bond, John Friend said ” I feel like we’re going in on blind faith” (to vote on the Bond).

    However, if Friend sat in on the Exit Conference, then he knows PRECISELY what the outcome of the Audit will be . . . so his ‘blind faith’ comment needs to be explained.

    To give Mr. Friend credit where credit is due, he also said ” . . .but Friend, an accountant, said the delay in releasing the 2012 audit is disturbing and unusual”. I agree on this part.

    • If Friend is fully aware that the audit is adverse and that the books are not reconciled, he should either disclose this before the vote to issue bonds or delay the vote until after the audit is released. It seems to me that allowing a vote while withholding material information would amount to subornation of fraud.

      The same goes for everyone else in the exit interview who is on the city council. Riley, O’Daniel, and McGinn are all lawyers. I wonder what they think about voting on a resolution to borrow money while adverse material information remains hidden.

      • It would seem to me if Council pushes forward with voting on Monday, they will need to factor in any “writedowns” in Cash balances which are required by the SBOA.

        I’m not an insider, and don’t know if there will be any writedowns, but if there are City Council damn well better factor that in to see if the Bond Payments can still be made.

        Honestly, rather than walk this Tightrope . . . Council should state they need to see a final audit (and maybe that causes an earlier release ?)

        • Maybe this is why the resolution states an interest rate of up to 7%. Could be they are sneaking that in there without having to explain why the rate is so high. People will focus on the $51 Million and ignore the interest rate.

          The reported national average yield for A rated 30 year municipal bonds last week was 4.4%. Why would Evansville build in a 7% rate knowing this? What are Detroit’s bonds yielding?

          • Here is the answer to the question I posed in my last post.


            Yields on recent aftermarket trades for Detroit Downtown Development bond ranges from 7.02% to 7.38%. I guess that lets us know where in the pecking order of cities Evansville is.

            Paying the same rates as bankrupt and dying Detroit is not the way to manage a city. If the City Council goes forward with this bond vote before the audits are released someone needs to answer to a jury of their peers.


          • I suspect that Evansville’s finances are more like Detroit’s than any of us want to face. It is highly unlikely that John and Jane Q. Public will discern the leeway on interest rates that this bond issue allows.

  2. Say what ?

    CCO: are you saying the state agency which performed the audit is cooperating with the City to “time the release” of the information ?

    Why in the world would the State give a crap about that ?

    I find the notion that the release date of a state audit can be “manipulated” very hard to believe !

    Call me Mr. Naive,


    • “I find the notion that the release date of a state audit can be “manipulated” very hard to believe !

      Call me Mr. Naive,”

      Do you understand where you are? Indiana is the most political place I know of, and we now have a Governor who entertains higher aspirations. He wants everybody to look good, especially Republicans.

  3. “City of Evansville’s Fire and Police Departments have filed any complaint with the Federal Labor Board over working hours for which they are not being paid” How many people would show up for work if they were not being paid? Thank you to our dedicated City of Evansville’s Fire and Police Departments.

  4. The City audit was performed for decades by a lady who is a CPA. Notice that whenever she was in charge, there were no front page headlines? Then Russ became Controller and it all went to hell. The Arena audit gave her a heart attack and she is in her early 50’s!

    Then comes Airhead with her whiny voice, Shamu that likes to boss everyone around, Sheldon Cooper who is more concerned about string theory than auditing, and Cowabunga who likes to catch some waves in the Ohio River.

  5. Evansville’s politicos have orchestrated a “dirty” and disgusting Soap Opera bordering on Obscene.
    All the antics surrounding the events and vast sums of money borrowed and spent over the past couple of years in Evansville, all point to the ADVERSE OPINION:–Evansville is a “Crooked” little town, and It’s Books are Garbage well suited to be tossed into Bee Slough along with the perpetrators.

    • Crash: OPINION:–Evansville is a “Crooked” little town, and It’s Books are Garbage well suited to be tossed into Bee Slough along with the perpetrators.

      And that “all the while” the citizens of the Evansville metro whom receive water and sewer service from them(politicos) have the bill for the EPA mandate fines incrementally added to their bills.

      The rest of the planet however, would file an timely applied protest due your solution Crash.

      You see, Currently, Evansville’s downtown dumps/leaves enough unwanted toxicity into the Ohio River Drainage basin already.

      We suggest one might find someplace else “suitable” to store downtown evansville’s “Books, Garbage and politicos said to be orchestrating the Obscene, smallish, however, local Evansville downtown drama (soap opera) or, the conditional “forlorn” of its city SBOA audits.

      • Evansville is toxic, both literally and figuratively speaking. Maybe we could become one big Superfund site, and they can start with the demolition of the Civic Center.

  6. +1000.

    The Weinzapful-Winnecke Alliance would steal pennies from a dead man’s eyes.

    However, I would say that probably the adverse opinion comes from incompetence rather than chickanery. That is still an open question though because my understanding(editors please correct me if I am wrong) is that the checking accounts are out of balance to the tune of $7M DOLLARS. That’s a write off too, not a credit.

    Think about that for a moment. Even a $50K write-off would be a major cause of concern for any auditor worth a damn.


    I have a feeling this is all about to blow up in their faces any day now.

    • I don’t suppose we will ever know for sure, but I think most of that money likely went to benefit some of those who are responsible for hiring the incompetent folks. It leads me to wonder if they knew it would be easier to manipulate them.
      If this is as bad as it sounds, somebody may really have to go to jail. It will be some poor soul who is pretty far down the food chain. There will be a “guilty plea”, so there will be no trial or testimony, and the “criminal” will get a short or suspended sentence. The “rap-taker” will also not have to worry about finances or having a job for a long time. At least, that is the way it usually works.

  7. Editor:

    My eyes were happy this morning to see a NEWS article at the top of the CCO’s web site this morning (instead of a cartoon).

    Thank you! Great job!

    Whether I stay on the web site, or not, is a decision made on first impression.


    what about that POLL and the TICKER taking up such valuable CCO upper front page real estate? I like having those features available…

    ….but in place of top of page, first impression NEWS?…even nationally significant news?…well, such a change would be awesome!

  8. There is another story here that Russ and the Administration will pick up on in a few months. The audit bill. You see when the CPA’s ran the show for the 2011 audit, it was started, finished, and published within three months. This time around we’re looking at ten plus months. They bill by the hour, so their bill will be at least three times as much! The sad thing is that not a single person on or managing the audit was a CPA.

  9. A former girlfriend works at City Controller’s office.

    Tells me that the opinion was ‘Qualified’ at the Exit Conference; and that additional entries were then made which have allowed the State to lift the qualification, and the City will get a clean opinion.

    Former girlfriend . . . but she is reliable.

  10. My sources tell me that Russ should have had six qualifications but whined and complained to Governor Pence to get a clean opinion. That is why the state has asked for more information after the exit conference which goes against every auditing standard! Someone should complain to the AICPA about the State Board because audit evidence cannot be generated after the audit is over!

    • Cesar, you are saying ‘Qualified’ ?

      CCO has reported that the opinion is ‘Adverse’ ?

      Which is correct, as Qualified way better than Adverse.

      • Qualified is still pretty bad.

        I don’t see how any CPA could give anything BUT an adverse if the checking accounts are not reconciled.

        One of the principles of auditing is that if the beginning Balance Sheet is clean/verified from the previous year’s audit and then you and your audit team verify/audit every line item on the end of year balance sheet then the bottom line must also be correct. There might be misclassifications in the in the revenue or expenses but the bottom line would be correct.

        Example: Net worth at the beginning of the year was $100,000, Net worth at the end of the year was $110,000 then net income HAD to be $10,000. Revenue could be $50k, $50M, or $50B it wouldn’t matter, net income for the year would still be $10K. Now that is a for profit example but the same principle would hold for governemental accounting.

        Now jut writing off $7M to unknown or miscellenous as a plug and chug might get the books balanced and the balance sheet correct but that should get you whacked with an adverse opinion because no one knows what happened to the money.

        Maybe the $7M plug and chug write off did get kicked up all the way to Pence’s desk and he decided to bite the bullet and take the political heat and protect his fellow R in Evansvillle.

        If so, all I can say is “Wow”.

  11. Lets not forget that the future mayor, Uncle Fester was arrested for drunken boating in Kentucky last summer. Also, City Attorney Danks hosted an underage drinking party a few years back

  12. Well I guess Chris Cooke is capable of inspiring change after all. Too bad it’s a new anti-facebook rule. Still waiting to hear from Winnecke or Parke on why this man still has a job. It’s just like them to run and dodge questions on something like this.

    Was it to make the process of redirecting funds from the cemetery to the city for balancing this out of control budget easier? Was it because they think the cemeteries are in good shape with headstones lying up down and all around? Was it because they think Cooke has international fame from a seminar when really all he has is a worthless Courier & Press Top 20 Under 40 plaque?

    Did Mr. Cooke speak at a neighborhood association meeting this week that drew controversy? I keep hearing that and would like someone to tell me IS IT TRUE?

  13. Saw the new local State Board boss in the Civic Center this week. He looks just like Quentin Tarantino but his people call him General Sherman!

    • You were right the first time. It WAS Quentin Tarantino ! He is making one of his blood & gore movies about this Audit !

    • I don’t think it came as much of a shock to anybody who follows what goes on here. I expect Buemer is going to be busy trying to help his good buddy, Kirk Byram, get elected Sheriff. Amazingly, he may prove to be an asset to Byram in some local circles.

  14. Editor,

    Who does your webpage design? You really need to do something about that Home page. About the only thing easy for me to find is the IIT and everything below it feels like a hodgepodge of articles.

    • I agree that the page needs some serious “tweaking.” I like the fact that comments are now much easier to follow about what is directed to whom, but the rest seems to be lacking.
      I see that yesterday’s “lead story” about the ruling on the one same-sex couple’s case seems to have totally disappeared today. I also miss the box which listed the most recent comments that appeared.
      The cartoons did nothing for me, and I hope they’re gone.

  15. I am investing in tar and feather futures. I suspect a spike in demand May 24th.

    • Don’t invest too heavily. Unfortunately, I expect that a full 80% of the locals are oblivious to what is happening in the MLK Blvd. asylum, and will remain so after the audit information is released.

    • IE: Don’t load up on the tar futures, and the feather supplies in your downtown are somewhat free for the taking,as well. The tars can be easily transitioned from the other chemical and organic nasty’s that bubbled out during the planets slam fest of condensation per the climate water vapor energy delivered yesterday evening.

      Bubbling up CSO/additional to mandate fines. (tick tock ,tick , tock ) That’s not “the crude” that made ole Jed a million air its heavier on “the crud” side, however some of that could be isolated out of it, tar that is ,combined with some sticky gold.

      Gotta go! New evolutionary data coming in, and some other regionals ,its really coming in copiously per hour gauge.

      • Thanks V. You saved me $5.

        There is an odious supply of bio-tars ready and handily available in close proximity to the temple of Nepotism and one slightly used chicken fat dance suit that would supply substantial feathers for our needs.

  16. Damn good IIT editors.

    As you well know if I think you’re wrong I tell you and if I think you’re spot on I tell you that too.

    Keep up the great work, that was awesome.

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