Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ford Review's Focus: Bank Moves ; Council Not Seeking 'Smoking Gun,' Just Answers

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Ford Review's Focus: Bank Moves ; Council Not Seeking 'Smoking Gun,' Just Answers

Article excerpt

A forensic review of Ford Center construction records ordered Monday night by the Evansville City Council likely will focus on "six to eight" transactions and explore whether the city overpaid for certain items, one council member said. Stephanie Brinkerhoff- Riley, who seconded a motion by Dan Adams to conduct the review, said she's "not claiming that there's smoke or fire related to the Ford Center," but she agreed with Adams that analysis was necessary.

The Downtown arena came to fruition during former Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel's two terms, from 2004 to 2011. At Monday's council meeting, Adams, D-At-large, moved to order an unspecified review of some aspects of the project's transactions.

Adams said at the meeting he wanted to lay to rest "heavy rumors" about the arena's construction, but specifics about what the council wanted reviewed were unclear.

Brinkerhoff-Riley elaborated in an interview Wednesday.

"What I'm being told is that in reviewing the bank reconciliation process, some transactions seem unnecessary, or done through two or three wire transfers instead of one," said Brinkerhoff-Riley, D-3rd Ward. "There was money transferred on a Friday, and then the same amount transferred again on a Monday. I can't point you to a specific transaction, but there were some that appeared awkward in a sense that they weren't handled how you'd expect them to be handled.

"There's a certain number of my colleagues that just wanted to look at some things more closely.. It's relatively inexpensive, supported by the majority of council and hopefully will put a lot of issues to bed."

Finance Chairman John Friend, D-5th Ward, voted for Adams' motion.

"I don't think Dan or Stephanie believes there's a smoking gun here, but there's been questions," Friend said. ".. I'd like to have a powwow with the State Board of Accounts and see what they're doing on that side, kind of feel it out. …

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