Lindsay accused of misusing taxpayer money again


Tuesday night the Lindsay city council will talk about a draft audit of the city's finances. The documents show the former city manager and finance director used taxpayer money for Avila Beach hotel rooms and their personal businesses.

A draft of a recent audit of the city of Lindsay shines a light on misused money by former city manager Scot Townsend and former finance director Kenny Walker. Both resigned from their posts last winter.

Documents by Brown Armstrong Accounting Corporation show Townsend used city money to pay for two rooms at a $730 a night Avila Beach hotel and didn't provide documentation to the city council on the travel expense.

The document also reveals the former city manager and finance director used city resources for their personal businesses. Some people in Lindsay want to recall the entire city council.

Yolanda Flores said, "We believe all of them are responsible for everything that's happened in the last ten years and they should be accountable for their actions or inactions."

Timothy Daubert said, "The city mismanaged the funds and it's been proven they mismanagement the funds."

City officials acknowledge the mistakes, adding they weren't aware of the misuse of funds and are using recommendations from the auditor to ensure all city money is used wisely.

Pam Kimball said, "We've corrected all the findings that every suggestion that the auditor has made that we should be doing we've already put into place and we expect a really clean audit next time."

The draft audit also confirms many Lindsay residents' fears that last year -- their water and sewer bills were raised to pay salaries for city employees not in the water and sewer department. The issue caused an uproar in the community last summer.

The city of Lindsay was also recently under fire from the Tulare County Association of Governments. The agency filed a lawsuit against the city for failing to require the adequate documentation for nearly $4 million in downtown revitalization.

Lindsay officials admit the prior administration had faults but they are working towards improving the city's finances.

The public can hear about the draft audit report at Tuesday's city council meeting at 6pm at city hall.

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