Sources: Alarming findings found in forensic audit into Petersbu - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Sources: Alarming findings found in forensic audit into Petersburg treasurer's office

Petersburg Treasurer Kevin Brown (Source: NBC12) Petersburg Treasurer Kevin Brown (Source: NBC12)
PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -

The findings of a forensic audit into the Petersburg Treasurer's office are in the hands of a Special Prosecutor in Chesterfield. City leaders are now getting a glimpse at some of the results and authorities will have to decide if they warrant criminal charges.

It comes as city leaders are now taking steps to find someone else to do the treasurer's job. On Thursday night, two separate companies - one based in Richmond, another in Philadelphia - pitched their services to take over tax collection for Petersburg.

An audit into the Treasurer's office reveals missing documentation for credit card transactions and a need for checks and balances on how the office issues refunds. In some cases, auditors say there was no documentation at all.

"There's absolutely a need for some dramatic change to take place,” said city consultant Robert Bobb.

That's why he wants the city to create a Tax Collector position, which would come with a $110,000 salary.

"If they ain't got money for all of this, how they got money for an extra person?” asked neighbor Kay Reece.

Consultants say it's necessary because of poor collection by the treasurer’s office.

They're comparing Petersburg to a neighboring town, Colonial Heights, which has a 98 percent tax collection rate, compared to Petersburg's 93 percent. On top of that, leaders say Colonial Heights has nearly $8 million in rainy day funds, compared to Petersburg, which has a deficit of nearly $9 million.

It comes as Bobb is asking the council to dish out an additional $10,000 to his company to keep the acting city manager on board two weeks longer, until the new City Manager arrives in July.

"The city manager is on the payroll of the Robert Bobb Group so that $10,000 includes salary, corporate overhead, and expenses,” Bobb said.

“For a financially strapped city, is $10,000 not a lot for two weeks?” NBC 12 asked.

“Actually, it's $13,000 and we're saying we're going to do it for $10,000,”  Bobb responded.

"We were told we can't get a reduction in our water rates because the city needs the money, and yet, the city can do foolish things with the money they got,” neighbor John Hennessee said.

While the council agreed in a previous meeting to extend the contract for the acting city manager to stay longer, they never approved the dollar amount.  

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