17 hrs ago
Email Could Lead to Grand Jury Investigation of City Council
La Habra Heights, CA -
A May 15, 2013 email from City Manager Shauna Clark (complete below) suggests a Brown Act (Open Meeting Law) violation.
The Brown Act requires decisions of the City Council to be done in public, with limited exceptions for litigation, real estate and personnel matters, in order for the public to have input in the decision, and the deliberations and vote of the Council to be done in public.
In September 2012, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Fraud and Corruption Department sent a letter to the City regarding a July 2012 Brown Act violation stating,
if similar conduct occurs in the future, we will not hesitate to convene a grand jury.
The email to the City Manger's "Friends" about a new section of the City website, starts off, "The City Council has authorized staff....", however there was no agendized item on the subject of the City website or responses to issues on any regular or special City Council agenda.
The Public had no opportunity to offer comment on whether limited City funds should be used in the proposed manner.
The City regularly claims it is understaffed and under funded, and does not have time to fulfill requests for public records or funds to repair roads.
Extensive City staff time appears to have been expended creating documents and editing video used on the new section of the website, which appears designed to "spin" public perception in a manner favorable to the City.
On the new site, the City response to a third party audit of City finances, which found irregularities and made charges of forgery and embezzlement, explains the irregularities instead as resulting from "inept practices", "poor reporting", and improperly charging vendor payments to the City Payroll account.
Whittier Daily News
Neighbors files suit over plans to expand home
Terry, left, and Janet O'Brien stand in the kitchen from which they can see the roof of their neighbor's house which may include an extra floor in the future in Whittier, Calif., Thursday, Jan.
La Habra Heights Audit Exposes Three Checkbooks, Embezzlement, & Forged Check Warrants!
La Habra Heights, CA -
The first internal audit of the City of La Habra Heights and have found numerous irregularities in their accounting practices. The data I have analyzed is from the General Ledger, Bank Statements, and Check Warrant Reports dated from July, 2010 thru June, 2011.
Multiple Checkbooks The City of La Habra Heights is using three (3) different checkbooks. There is a three-digit checkbook, a four-digit checkbook, and a five-digit check book. The Check Warrant lists checks issued from the three and four-digit checkbooks, but does not show the five digit checks issued.
The four and five-digit checkbooks are listed on the Wells Fargo Bank Statements, but the three-digit checks do not clear this bank account. The three-digit checks are only and always issued to the four Payees: Maricela Medina, John Wingett, Margaret Crawford, & A.Q. Engineering Consultants. The three-digit checks total over $23,000.00 from November 2010 to June 2011. There must be another checking that is paying these checks.
Bank Of America Credit Card: The City is using a Bank of America credit card and forging the Check Warrants to hide the charges. Listed below are four incidence FYE 2011.
11/03/10 Transaction no. 27446 Checks no. 1485 and 1486 were issued to Bank of America for $857.31 and 619.43, respectively. The checks are listed on the General Ledger and Well Fargo Bank Statement, but NOT listed on the Check Warrants.
12/29/10 Transaction no. 27737 Check no. 1623 is issued to Bank of America for $1,737.43. Transaction 27510 also listed Check no. 1623, but issued to Action Trophies for $109.25. This transaction is reversed in Transaction 27681. The Check Warrant lists Check no. 1623 issued to Action Trophies for $109.25. The Wells Fargo Bank Statement lists two (2) checks 1623 issued and cashed: one for $1,737.43 and another for $3,504.00. The January Check Warrant shows the $109.25 invoice for Action Trophies was paid on 01/20/11 with Check no. 1729.
Whittier Daily News
La Habra Heights city budget shows predicted surplus of $420,000
However, thanks to the CalTrans' reimbursement of money spent on road projects, city officials now are trying to decide what to do with an estimated $420,000 surplus created by this year's budget.