Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Examiner Seeks Police Probe of Audit Tape

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Examiner Seeks Police Probe of Audit Tape

Article excerpt

The State Examiner with the Indiana State Board of Accounts said Thursday evening he has asked the Indiana State Police to investigate the recording and release of a tape of the March 12 "exit conference" between state auditors and city officials regarding Evansville's 2012 city audit.

Paul Joyce, responding to an email inquiry from the Courier & Press, said, "I will actively pursue prosecution of any individual involved with releasing this confidential information. I have learned second-hand of the taping of the city of Evansville exit conference and the subsequent release of the same. I have contacted the State Police and requested an investigation into this matter. I will pursue this violation of the public's trust to the furthest extent that I am allowed to by law."

Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said Thursday that an Evansville City Council member secretly recorded the March 12 "exit conference" with state examiners and then distributed the recording in violation of state law.

Three City Council members were in attendance at the conference - President John Friend, D-5th Ward; Vice President Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley, D-3rd Ward; and Finance Chairman Conor O'Daniel, D-At-large. Friend and O'Daniel said they did not record the meeting and had no idea anyone else was doing so.

Friend said he has not spoken to Brinkerhoff-Riley yet, but City Council Attorney Scott Danks has.

"As president of the Council, I've got to take leadership here," Friend said, ".. I think if she was smart, she would step down from leadership. How can I, as president of the Council, go in with her and with the finance chair and deal with the administration to move the people's business forward, when you lose trust?"

Brinkerhoff-Riley, who is a family law attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.

A prepared statement from Winnecke's office said the mayor was notified earlier this week about the secret recording and that the tape had been distributed. …

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