A special investigation by State Auditor Mary Mosiman found issues with the handling of funds for the Community Center in the City of Buffalo for a three-year period from January or 2013 through June of 2016.
The auditor says the city requested the investigation. “We identified a total of $40,965 dollars of improper and unsupported disbursements,” according to Mosiman. There were issues with two of the Buffalo Community Center accounts.
“The general account was a little over $1,700 of improper disbursements and $19,000 of unsupported disbursements. Their bingo account had almost 13,000 of improper disbursements and a little over $17,300 dollars of unsupported disbursements,” Mosiman says. She says checks were written from those accounts to buy gas, food and drinks and other items.
“They’re items that were for personal benefit not for public benefit,” she says. “Purchases at places like HyVee, Walmart and Sam’s Club that were not used for the operation of the community center — but instead for personal benefit.” Mosiman says the person on the Community Center board who wrote the checks died in February and they were not able to interview her about why the money was spent on personal items. Mosiman says they provided the city with some recommendations to prevent future issues.
She says one of the main things is to separate the duties and be sure that there is more than one person looking over the accounts and that they have invoices documenting the purchases and to show the items were purchased for public use. The city asked the members of the Community Center Board to step down in April of 2016 and took action to assume responsibility for the Community Center and bring the separately maintained bank accounts under the control of the city.