SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - Four Shreveport City Council members are calling for an investigation into the city’s finance department.
Their action comes after an external auditor found that the city failed to file its 2018 payroll tax forms on time with the Louisiana Revenue Department. That cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties.
Among other findings, the audit also shows that the city is not properly balancing its operating and payroll accounts.
It also shows that one of the banks the city uses had more than $15 million in municipal funds on deposit and was not required to secure that deposit with federal deposit insurance or the pledge of securities owned by the bank.
Council members will vote Tuesday on the resolution calling for the investigation.
“It’s a real breakdown of controls for the finance department," District C Councilman John Nickelson said, adding that it happened before Mayor Adrian Perkins took office.
“As I told somebody today, if you can’t balance your own checkbook and take care of your own finances, you can’t do anything, whether it’s your household or an organization the size of the city.”
The resolution is co-sponsored by Nickelson, District B Councilwoman LeVette Fuller and Councilmen Grayson Boucher and James Flurry, who represent Districts D and E, respectively.
“It’s only natural that we want to ask what went wrong in the city finance department," Flurry observed. “And the mayor and Ms. Jones can assure us they are on top of it and getting it fixed. But, gee whiz, the City Council has a right to ask questions.”
The mayor’s office said the problem is being addressed and cautioned City Council members that the audit is only a draft.