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AVALON SOUTH Some support special audit



Published: Sun, February 24, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A state audit would be costly for the city, an official said.

By AMANDA C. DAVIS

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- To get a true picture of how financial problems developed at Avalon South Golf Course, some lawmakers say, the state needs to perform a special audit.

Councilman Doc Pugh, D-6th, said his motivation in sponsoring legislation to seek an estimate for a special audit is the outpouring of calls he has received from residents.

Pugh and resident Sally Shubert-Hall gave a presentation to council recently outlining the course's troubled financial history and pointed to possible wrongdoing.

The councilman said that his colleagues and some residents are amazed at the depth of information about Avalon South and that they deserve to know if things were done illegally.

Bob Holmes, D-4th, said a special audit would provide explanations needed if the city is to recoup money it is owed.

Course operator: Tony Joy, the man who has operated the course for the city since the 1980s, has been in arrears on property taxes and rent. He and the city are disputing figures, and the city recently evicted him. He has filed a lawsuit contending breach of contract.

Alford Novak, D-2nd, said a special audit would be expensive and could prove a waste of time and money if it comes back without major findings.

City Auditor David Griffing said the cost of a special audit depends on the time state auditors invest in it.

For instance, a special audit of the city water department, which took into account only one month's worth of receipts, cost the city $16,000. He said a special Avalon South audit could prove much more costly.

The state will soon release the 2000 financial audit that Mayor Hank Angelo has said contains some findings against Avalon South.

Pugh couldn't get into specifics about findings but said they justify a closer look, especially because they contradict some of the information he has gathered.




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