On Friday, Brazil Mayor Ann Bradshaw and City Attorney Traci Lawson spoke to The Brazil Times on behalf of the city to provide a response to the Indiana State Board of Accounts (SBOA) audit examination report of the 2009 finances.
The report states Bradshaw received $2,428 on Oct. 16, 2008, which was originally thought to be an underpayment, but it was later determined she had not been underpaid.
"Our SBOA auditor at the time was Peggy Arnold, who told the former clerk she, along with myself, had been underpaid," Bradshaw said. "A check was brought to me, then within the next month, a second check was given to me, which set off red flags."
Bradshaw said she did not have knowledge about the supposed underpayment until she received the check, but once the second check came to her, she immediately called Arnold for input about the situation.
"Peggy told me she had told the former clerk about the underpayments, but that she did not specify an amount," she said. "While I was speaking to Peggy, I also set up the repayment."
In reference to receiving the $1,000 buyout Nov. 14, 2007, for not accepting the city's health/accident group insurance, Bradshaw said she believed she was eligible for it at the time.
"It was my understanding at the time that I was eligible for the buyout," Bradshaw said. "I found out later that I was not eligible, and I immediately called our auditor to schedule a reimbursement of the buyout."
The audit report also showed the city had numerous funds with negative balances at the end of 2009.
"The budget is definitely an issue, and it is never good to have any funds in the red," Lawson said. "With the findings of this audit, we have to take an especially close look at it."
Lawson added other findings will require the city to examine and set new procedures.
"We take this audit very seriously," she said. "There are many things that will need to addressed, some of which will be simply by implementing policies."
One of the areas Lawson cited as needing a policy is the city's use of credit cards to purchase items, as there is not one currently on the books.
When it came to other findings from the audit, Bradshaw said she is letting things run their course.
"To my knowledge, I am not aware of an investigation on myself or Karen," she said. "Everything else is in the hands of the proper authorities."
Her own side
Former Brazil City Clerk-Treasurer Tracy Webster has contacted The Brazil Times about providing an explanation about her connection to the State Board of Accounts audit report findings.
However, she said she is in the process of gathering documentation to present and will provide a statement sometime in the near future.