By jeanne starmack
The city’s law director is looking into why a contract for a phone line was terminated early, resulting in a collection action of $15,288 against Campbell.
At a city council caucus meeting Wednesday, a resolution to pay the money, the balance of a two-year contract with AT&T, was sent back to council’s finance committee for review.
The contract was for a trunk line at the city building, city Finance Director Mike Evanson said. The line connects extensions to city offices.
The city entered the contract with AT&T on Nov. 10, 2010, Evanson said. It was terminated July 1, 2011, and the city entered into a contract with another company for the trunk line, Evanson said.
Evanson, who became finance director in January, said he found the bill from AT&T in a stack of papers in his office. He said he looked for it after he got a call from a collection agency for AT&T.
At the caucus meeting, officials said it appears previous finance director Sherman Miles initiated the contract termination on his own and entered into the other contract.
Mayor Bill VanSuch said Miles’ signature was on the new contract.
“The finance director is not empowered by charter to enter into contracts; I have to look into this,” Macala told council members and administrators at the meeting.
Macala said that in normal circumstances, council votes on whether to enter into contracts, then they go to the city’s board of control.
“The board of control is the contract authority for the city,” he said.
Macala said the city likely will pay the bill to avoid being charged interest on it after April 4, but if his investigation shows that Miles was responsible for terminating the contract early, the city has the option of pursuing collection against him.
The city also could pursue a claim with the bonding agent for Miles, he said.
Miles could not be reached to comment Friday.