State audit gives Brentwood lowest 'poor' rating

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by Russell Kinsaul / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on May 7, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 8 at 8:16 AM

(KMOV) -- Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich released the results of an audit of Brentwood city government that includes scathing criticism of operations at city hall and gives the city the lowest rating of poor.

Time and time again, the audit points out sloppy accounting procedures and says the city lacks the documentation that would give residents a clear overview of the way their tax dollars are being spent. 

The audit came about because of a citizen petition drive that began in 2011. Residents became concerned about the city's finances after former city administrator Chris Seemayer pleaded guilty to stealing $30,000 but continued to collect benefits.

Then it was revealed that Brentwood firefighters had been overpaid overtime for decades and that part-time elected officials had been given no-cost, full healthcare benefits for years.

No other city in the St. Louis region provides the same benefit.

The audit found Brentwood often lacked documentation on credit card purchases, failed to get bids for many services and paid fuel bills late, racking up late fees.

Other problems that the audit found include, the city violated its own overtime policy, failed to show that a supervisor approved employees overtime and failed to keep records justifying closed council meetings. 

Although the audit report was only released Tuesday, the auditor's office has been working with Brentwood city hall to help it make changes. The city has also replaced several workers at city hall in the last few months.

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