Posts Tagged ‘Lu Barron’

Related party transactions – part 2

February 23, 2016

As I indicated on 2/22, I reported several other business transactions (BT) to EideBailly LLP (EB) and Linn County’s Office of Finance & Budget (F&B). After talking with a CPA at EB, at F&B, and at the Auditor of State’s Office, I concluded that an additional twenty-two (22) BTs should have been included in the County’s 2015 Compliance Report.

I choose to err on the side of disclosing too many BTs rather than too few BTs.  Further, I do not wish to disincentivize the employees who had the courage to self-report real or perceived related-party-transactions (BTs) or conflicts of interest.

Please be advised that the disclosure of these BTs does NOT imply any wrongdoing of any kind. The purpose of these disclosures is to illustrate to the public and taxpayers that Linn County is transparent in spending its tax dollars.

In addition, you will find that I did not disclose employee and contractor names; however, those names are available upon request. I did disclose elected officials names as we have the highest fiduciary responsibility to the County.  -Joel D. Miller – Linn County Auditor (LCA) 

Linn County Auditor’s referral case # – County employee’s organization in FY2015 – Relationship – Website- Description – Amount spent in FY2015

FY15-001     Board of Supervisor’s (BOS) IT employee – SPOUSE was executive director of Grace C Mae Advocate Center, Inc. – – Services – $200

FY15-002     BOS Options employee – SPOUSE was owner of TJ Support Services LLC – no website – Services – $9,664

FY15-005     BOS Facilities employee – EMPLOYEE & SPOUSE were co-owners of Blakley Properties – no website – Rented housing to County client – $875

FY15-007     Medical Examiner employees – EMPLOYEES own Weber Specialty Transport Company – no website – Services – $10,734

FY15-008     Supervisor John Harris – ELECTED OFFICIAL was board member of Area Ambulance Authority – – Services – $15,853

FY15-009     Supervisor Ben Rogers – ELECTED OFFICIAL was board member of The Arc of East Central Iowa – – Services – $14,847

FY15-010     BOS Veteran Affairs employee – EMPLOYEE was president & board member of Valor, Inc. – no website – Services (Valor received grant funds from County for purpose of providing services) – $2,196

FY15-011     Attorney’s Office employee – SPOUSE was president & board member of CR IV Service, Inc. dba CarePro Home Medical AND president & board member of CR Pharmacy Service, Inc. dba A Avenue Pharmacy – – Services & Supplies – $1,057

FY15-013     Supervisor John Harris – ELECTED OFFICIAL’S SON-IN-LAW was employed by Foundation 2, Inc. – – Services – $111,139

FY15-014     BOS contractor (paid $45,600 in FY15) – CONTRACTOR was board member of Prospect Meadows, Inc. (PMI) – – County leased office space and farmland to PMI – $2,401

FY15-015     Supervisor John Harris – ELECTED OFFICIAL was board member of Area Substance Abuse Council, Inc. – – Services – $62,122

FY15-016     BOS LCCS employee – EMPLOYEE was board member of Community Corrections Improvement Association – no website – Services – $19,754

FY15-017     Supervisor Brent Oleson – ELECTED OFFICIAL was board member of Trees Forever, Inc. – – Services (symposium sponsorships) – $3,500

FY15-018     Sheriff’s Office employee – EMPLOYEE’S BROTHER-IN-LAW was employed by Rapids Wholesale Equipment Company – – Supplies – $7,240

FY15-020     Supervisor Brent Oleson – ELECTED OFFICIAL was ex-officio board member of Prospect Meadows, Inc. – – County leased office space and farmland to PMI – $2,401

FY15-022     BOS Purchasing employee – EMPLOYEE’S BROTHER was employed by Pat McGrath Chevyland – – Service & Supplies – $8,982

FY15-023     BOS Purchasing employee – EMPLOYEE’S BROTHER-IN-LAW was employed by Bromo Inc. dba The 380 Companies or Reconstruction 380 – – Services – $3,210

FY15-024     BOS Purchasing employee – EMPLOYEE’S SISTER-IN-LAW was employed by Altorfer, Inc. – Services – $19,470

FY15-025     BOS Purchasing employee – EMPLOYEE’S UNCLE owns Neal’s Water Conditioning – Services – $1,725

FY15-026     Recorder’s Office employee – SPOUSE owns DF Jones Enterprises, LLC – no website – Rented housing to County client – $12,725

FY15-027     Supervisor Lu Barron – ELECTED OFFICIAL (1st half of FY15) – SPOUSE was president of Barron Motor Inc. – no website – Supplies – $1,134

FY15-029     BOS LCCS employee and Sheriff’s Office employee – EMPLOYEES own rental property – no website – Rented housing to County client – $1,700

Sources:  FY2015 Vendor Payments, employee self disclosures, tips, and LCA initiated audits.   ###

It’s called being proactive

June 11, 2010

[Update 10:52am, 14 June 2010:  NCSML provided their 2008 IRS Form 990 to the BOS and it’s now filed in the public record along with the CAT grant application presentation]

On May 10th, I posted Want public money? Let’s see your 990  To my knowledge, the Board of Supervisors (BOS) has not considered my suggestion.

Yesterday afternoon, I heard Cedar Rapids City Councilor Chuck Wieneke tell the BBRE’s audience on WMT600AM that the only thing he knew about the City of Cedar Rapids’ offer to GoDaddy was what he read in The Gazette.

I’m not saying that anyone is doing anything wrong, i.e., that the BOS is giving tax dollars to anyone who is undeserving or that the City of CR doesn’t have the right to make an offer to GoDaddyWhat is wrong is the perceived lack of openness and transparency associated with these transactions.

Tentatively, the BOS’s June 14th agenda will include this item:  National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library (NCSML) presentation on CAT grant application and Linn County’s participation.  I’m not privy to the details of this item.  I usually learn the details in the same manner as the public, i.e., I have to sit through the BOS meetings to learn the details.

Will the BOS require the NCSML to provide their 2009 IRS Form 990 to the BOS prior participating in the CAT grant application?  I doubt it.  Would they if asked?  Most likely, but no one asks.

Why doesn’t anyone ask?  Maybe it’s because Supervisor Lu Barron is on the board of the NCSML?  Maybe it’s because Supervisor Jim Houser was a former member of the board for six years?  Maybe it’s because one board member is the husband of a CR City Councilor or one board member is the mother of a state representative or one board member works for the Governor (per the 2008 IRS Form 990).  Who knows?

I walk the talk when it comes to openness and transparency.  Don’t believe me?  Look at or follow me on or read this blog.

Let’s assume that I am extreme in my views of openness and transparency in government.  If I am, would it hurt if other electeds and local government bodies met me halfway?  It would go a long way towards destroying the conspiracy theories before they become urban legend.  It would improve our credibility.

It’s called being proactive.  What’s the down side?

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