Palm Bay: JLAC And Justice Delayed.

As we reported, the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee (JLAC) held a hearing on the findings of an administrative audit into the City of Palm Bay. If you missed the hearing, you can watch it here.

On Friday, Representative Fine posted this:

As Fine was at the hearing, we have no idea what he was watching as it seems to us that no one was held accountable for anything.

According to the head of the Audit group, the dates the audit reviewed were October 2016 through February 2018 – a span of 16 months.

Also note that the audit began in November 2017. That is a period of 23 months which means the audit took longer than the time frame the audit was examining.

The JLAC Audit group released its findings in a letter dated October 23, 2019 addressed to Mayor Capote, with copies going to City Manager Lisa Morrell and members of the City Council.

The City had thirty days (a month) to prepare a response before appearing at Thursday’s hearing.

As expected, City Manager Lisa Morrell did mush of the “heavy lifting” in dealing with the questions that were asked. Yet even she was flummoxed by some of the issues:

Palm Bay City Manager Lisa Morrell told the JLAC she will recommend a forensic audit to further examine the I-95 controversy.

“There is missing information. I cannot stand here today and say why we built a road when we said the developers were going to build the road. That is an outstanding question for me, and I’d like it answered as well,” said Morrell, who was hired on a permanent basis in December 2018.

Councilmen Bailey, Santiago, and Anderson all made statements that they were glad JLAC had come into the City which is strange because both Santiago and Anderson had made statements that backed Mayor Capote’s position about being against the audit. Bailey reiterated that he had called for an audit (internal or external) but could never get it through the City Council so he was glad that JLAC had done the audit.

The City now has 18 months to resolve the issues in the report.

To us, that seems so………unsatisfying.

We say that because with 31 issues in the report, that is a resolution of 1 issue every 6 days.

Furthermore, the time frame to resolve the issues is longer (18 months) than the time frame the JLAC auditors examined (16 months.)

To say it another way, 16 months that Palm Bay was “examined,” 23 months for the actual audit, and now and additional 18 months (19 months if you count the initial 30 days the City was given prior to appearing before the JLAC.)

Not only do we not see any accountability, we don’t see and sense of urgency from anyone.

There is an old saying that “justice delayed is justice denied.”

While members of various levels of government are running around patting themselves on the back for their work, the people of Palm Bay sit there and say “where is justice for us?”

“Who is paying us back for the wasted tax dollars the City recklessly and in some cases, illegally spent?”

Randy Fine says the City was “held accountable.” If that is truly the case, then he should be able to name someone that was accountable and took responsibility for what happened in the City.

Frankly, we don’t see accountability and we don’t see any justice for the people of Palm Bay.

There may be some justice and accountability in the future, but not now.

To us, that is wrong.

3 Responses to “Palm Bay: JLAC And Justice Delayed.”

  1. Third Dimension says:

    In 2015 I warned the council about hiring a city manager with no experience.
    Then Lynk hired David Isnardi, who also had no experience. Even though Isnardi has been arrested, Commissioner Anderson has passed away, Holton was removed by election, I believe the numerous PAC’s run by Holton and Isnardi need to be looked at.

    I can only hope more arrests are forthcoming.
    Justice has not been served.

  2. Thomas Gaume says:

    I agree about looking into the PAC’s. I’ve done some research and can’t figure out how a PAC that relies 100% on donations can have expenditures that are $5,000 more than the donations.

    One thing that was very obvious by Rep. Mayfield’s remarks is that there is still some of the bad players mentioned still playing in the background.

  3. Percy says:

    Well, I watched as much of the video as I could stand. It’s no wonder why people are fed up with politicians. Watch out when politicians use big words like “accountability” and “responsibility” as they usually don’t mean what you or I think these words mean. I’ll say again the only hope we have is do not elect career politicians, instead elect people who will represent your best interest, not just self promote themselves and side with the special interest groups. Campaign finance reports are readily available on the web, make sure you look to see who is financing a candidate/issue before casting your next ballot. An honest politician with any integrity would not accept contributions from a person/group unless they supported their ideals.