Audubon Park Mayor resigns same day state auditor - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Audubon Park Mayor resigns same day state auditor releases findings

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Mayor of Audubon Park Michael Scalise resigned Monday.

According to city officials, Scalise resigned at the beginning of Monday's regularly scheduled city council meeting.

City council member Cary Campbell tells WDRB that Scalise stood in front of the council to present the acting police chief, Jim Curtis, with an award. He then asked the council to approve Curtis as chief. Shortly thereafter Campbell said Scalise got agitated over procedures and started raising his voice. He then appointed council member Joanne Bader as acting Mayor and walked out.

The resignation came the same day Kentucky auditor Adam Edelen released findings of an investigation into the city of Audubon Park.

The auditor's office launched the investigation after receiving numerous complaints from residents. This after it came to light earlier this year that the city had been overcharging residents for sanitation and using road funds for general fund expenses.

"The issue was that the funds were co-mingled to the point that my auditors weren't able to make a judgement on precisely where the dollars were spent and that's going to have to change," said Edelen.

Edelen said his office found that the city did nothing illegal, but made some decisions that should have included more transparency.

"One thing became absolutely clear," he said. "There is not the appropriate level of transparency and accountability that you'd like to see between the mayor and the council."

Another issue that was addressed in the audit was that of pensions.

Original paperwork shows the ex-police chief was promised a ten year retirement, but an amendment shows the Mayor agreed to extend that pension to 15 years. The auditor's office said they couldn't find proof that the council approved the change as required. But they also couldn't find anything that clearly outlines the rules on pensions.

The Mayor of Audubon Park locked himself in an office when approached by WDRB before the council meeting Monday.

Speaking on behalf of the city and the mayor, accountant Charles Veeneman says the city has been working on fixing the very things pointed out in the findings. Veeneman was hired in May specifically to address the financial problems.

"The city is already on the way to providing financial information for the council members and we simply go about correcting any problems that existed in the past," said Veeneman.

Ultimately, the auditor's office gave the city 60 days to come up with an action plan to increase transparency.

The auditor's office said based on the findings they have decided not to do a more detailed investigation. Edelen added that due to a limited budget, there are much bigger problems in the state of Kentucky that they must focus resources on.

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