As someone who follows closely all things MSD I obviously checked out the CJ story yesterday in regards to the "audit" most feel is being done by Crit LuAllen's office on MSD. Parks fund challenges MSD management; state refers claims to private auditors courier-journal.com The Courier-Journal It was comical seeing just how the CJ tried to spin the story and ignore the obvious.
Crit LuAllen is not doing an audit of MSD. In fact MSD is doing their own audit.
I know I am wrong right? Surely I misread the article? Read here from the article itself written by CJ's own save the whales environmental reporter James Bruggers:
The state auditor’s office has asked the Metropolitan Sewer District’s auditor to look into allegations that a local nonprofit has made about financial and other irregularities within the sewer agency.
State auditors expect MSD’s certified public accountant, Crowe Horwath, to report by the end of the year.
So much for that theory eh? But Bruggers has a lot of things wrong with this article. For example he states that "In June, The Courier-Journal reported that MSD was carrying its highest level of debt ever — $2.7 billion including interest payments — with more borrowing to come to pay for a 19-year, court-imposed $850 million sewer rehabilitation program."
Court imposed? Not quite.
MSD voluntarily entered into a CONSENT DECREE with the EPA. They were never brought before a court or mandated to do so. The Court then APPROVED the agreement that MSD made with the EPA.
There is huge difference between a VOLUNTARY consenting agreement and a court imposed one.
I have always been and continue to be an avid Crit LuAllen supporter but the decision to trust MSD with their own audit defies the bulldog tenacity, integrity, and forthrightness Crit brings to the plate.
Why would we allow the fox to guard the hen house?
Currently MSD is already engaged in a legal battle over what many perceive to be illegal rate hikes per KRS. There are countless examples of MSD improper spending. There is literally no oversight of MSD by any credible agency.
The list goes on and on.
So what gives?
There are many questions to be asked for sure but one glaring problem stands out right now.
The MSD board is made up entirely of Jerry Abramson appointees period. With Abramson running for Lt. Governor on the Beshear ticket, and Crit is a party loyalist, perhaps this is her way of not rocking the boat before the 2011 elections.
I don't know for sure but I certainly find this decision very suspect based on the politics involved.
Future Fund raises many concerns, not the least of which is their allegations, made in correspondence and conversations with the state through its executive director, Jeff Frank, include MSD paying too much interest and fees on debt, conflicts of interest by its board members and cozy financial relationships between the agency and developers.
I have outlined those same concerns on this website for some time using the Birmingham, Alabama example that Bud Schardein used to use as the biggest example we were following. This one is from December 2008 Louisville News and Politics: MSD: THE COMPARISON CONTINUES.
Here is another from November 2008. Louisville News and Politics: MSD: DISASTER LOOMING?
Or perhaps this one from December 2009 Louisville News and Politics: JEFFERSON COUNTY MAYOR CONVICTED ON CORRUPTION AND FRAUD CHARGES OVER MULTI BILLION DOLLAR SEWE...
I have been fighting this for years and bringing the truth to each of you. Working in conjunction with STOP I.T., the organization that filed the recent lawsuit against MSD, and now it looks like Future Fund is getting on board. The more the merrier as many are finally becoming aware of what we have been saying.
There is plenty of evidence out there to make the case for a true audit not an in house one by the fox and many like myself have been begging for one for years.
Crit, you know I like you and respect you, but in this case you should have done so much better.
We Louisvillians deserve a true accounting of this disastrous office. Considering the push for a regional wastewater program that will be headed by Louisville's MSD an audit is a necessary thing right now.
The Kentucky Congress goes back in session in January and one of the first votes they will work on is HB221 that will result in the regional system MSD favors. We must make sure they are accountable before we drag the rest of the State into this mess.
If they cannot be held accountable on a local level how in the world will we gain accountability in an expanded level?
Knowing that Abramson, Beshear, and their Democratic political machine cronies will favor this regionalization so they can benefit regardless of us, we depend on watchdogs such as you to protect us from these clowns.
Do you really want to sit on the sidelines and make this apparent political decision? Crit you are better than that. Give us what we deserve.
A full accounting.
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