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Lubbock City Council Meeting Thursday, Victor Hernandez Voices Disapproval of Audit Process

Cole Shooter,

The Lubbock City Council will hold a meeting Thursday evening, and one councilman has already stated that he plans to vote against a notable agenda item.

The Council will consider a resolution accepting the City of Lubbock Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year 2011-2012, which ended on September 30th, 2012.

District One Councilman Victor Hernandez issued a statement Wednesday morning, saying that he has found discrepancies in the City’s audit process and a lack of internal controls. Hernandez said that the City did not notify BKD auditors that some hotel/motel taxes were not being paid to the City.

“After speaking to and exchanging multiple e-mails with BKD representatives, I discovered that the City of Lubbock did not notify BKD (in the client planning questionnaire) of the fact that hotel/motel taxes were not being paid or were delinquent to the City of Lubbock, from a number of hoteliers/moteliers,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez’s release stated that “Neither the Lubbock City Council nor the Audit committee has been informed of all aspects of the audit currently being concluded,” and that he cannot vote in favor of accepting the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report based on the information which he currently has.

Lubbock City Manager Lee Ann Dumbauld and Executive Director of Finance Pam Moon issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that BKD was notified of issues regarding delinquencies on hotel occupancy tax and franchise fees.

Dumbauld and Moon’s statement said that the City of Lubbock prepares a client planning questionnaire, and the form does not address delinquencies of receivables, and the City has provided work papers to the auditors regarding those receivables.

“City Council was briefed several times on legal suits, agreements, and other matters in executive session,” said Dumbauld and Moon. “The auditors communicated with the Audit Committee during the planning phase of their engagement. The Independent Accountants’ Report on Financial Statements will be presented at the City Council meeting on March 28th.”

The Council will also consider a resolution approving the amended and restated bylaws of the Lubbock Economic Development Alliance, and will also discuss further amendments to the bylaws of LEDA and Market Lubbock.

A special City Council meeting has also been called for Thursday, April 4th to “Discuss, hear, and take action regarding complaints made against Councilman Victor Hernandez, District 1, including the possibility of retaining the services of a professional consultant for assistance in the completion thereof.”

As always, KFYO will be at Thursday’s City Council meeting to bring you the latest on news from City Hall.

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