Parkersburg city officials refute state auditor findings - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Parkersburg city officials refute state auditor findings

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The state releasing a re-audit of one local city, saying at times, city employees were double dipping.

The state taking another look at the city of Parkersburg's finances after a petition was filed by community members.

The re-audit found some discrepancy between payments and city code, however, overall the state auditor's office says there was nothing they could do legally to force changes to the current practices.

Thursday, Parkersburg held a special town hall to address the re-audit. 

Parkersburg mayor and council members standing firmly behind the city's practices and refuting the findings of the state.

"There are a lot of false rumors. It is getting kind of ridiculous to be honest with you," said Mayor Perry Bernard during his opening statements to the crowd.

Mayor Bernard spoke at length about the integrity of the city council, employees and pay practices.

"If we thought we were doing anything wrong, we would not be fighting the way we are. We would not be fighting against the state the way we are. We are here because we know we are right. We know we are doing the right thing," continued Mayor Bernard in his opening statements.

On several occasions during the town hall, Mayor Bernard asked, "why now?"  Bernard saying the practices have been in place for decades.

Multiple times the mayor and members of city council called the re-audit a vendetta of a few citizens.

One Parkersburg resident, who signed the petition asking for the audit, responded to the accusations, "There was no personal vendetta. Had I not been on that petition of 116 people, what would you be calling it then?"

KWWL asked the mayor about the state's findings.

The Iowa State Auditor's Office report: "As a result, these employees are, in essence, receiving compensation for 2 separate job duties simultaneously if performed during their normal working hours."
"There is no double pay. That was a totally false finding on their part," said Mayor Bernard.

KWWL: "How do you think [the State Auditor's Office] came to such a false finding?"

"They were spoon fed truth about a lot of stuff and they ran with it. I believe, they did not do their job," said Mayor Bernard.

Ultimately a majority of the citizens in attendance showed support for the city officials. The few citizens who spoke in support said they have no issues with the way things are done.

For more information and a complete report of the State Auditor's report and written response from the City of Parkersburg. http://www.kwwl.com/story/34550309/2017/02/20/parkersburg-mayor-defends-city-finances-following-state-re-audit

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