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Lubbock City Council Approves Controversial Financial Report

Cole Shooter,

At their meeting Thursday evening, the Lubbock City Council voted to accept the City of Lubbock Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.

District One Lubbock City Councilman Victor Hernandez made a motion to postpone the resolution to accept the CAFR, compiled by City staff and BKD, independent external auditors.

Hernandez requested the delay, saying that he had received the audit documents only hours before the meeting, calling it “a pretty hefty document that we haven’t had time to review.”

Hernandez requested that the Council consider accepting the document at the special City Council meeting called specifically to address complaints made against Hernandez by City staff members.

He continued, saying that he had been provided with other information which he had requested only received it hours before the meeting, and did not receive information regarding internal controls and hotel/motel fees, which are not part of the CAFR, according to City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld.

The Council originally voted 4-3 to postpone the item, with District 3 Councilman Todd Klein, District 2 Councilman Floyd Price, District 6 Councilwoman Latrelle Joy, and Hernandez voting to postpone.

Dumbauld said that this meeting was the last chance for the Council to approve the CAFR to remain in compliance with a number of federal grants and City bonds, causing the Council to unanimously vote to reconsider the postponement and consider the item Thursday.

“It’s more than federal grants, it’s compliance with that billion dollars in debt that we’ve got sitting out there,” Dumbauld curtly replied.

Hernandez had stated earlier in the week that he had found discrepancies in the City’s audit process and a lack of internal controls.

The council unanimously approved the CAFR, with Hernandez saying “I will be voting in favor of this because I feel I have no choice.”

The Council also postponed a resolution approving amended and restated bylaws of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance and a discussion over other possible amendments to the group until their next regular meeting.

The Lubbock City Council will hold the special meeting regarding complaints against Hernandez on Thursday, April 4th at 3 p.m.

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