BASTROP, La. (03/12/19) – “I felt that i had the right to respond in detail”, said Bastrop mayor Henry Cotton.
Cities have six months to get their audit to the state legislative auditor. Bastrop’s fiscal year ended
June 30, 2018, meaning the audit was due December 30, 2018.
However, Mayor Cotton says he just wasn’t given enough time to review the audit before it was due.
“I get the audit findings December 27th, three days before it’s due. With 20-30 things, items that I need to address”, said Mayor Cotton.
A task Cotton said was impossible. He asked the state auditor’s office for a March 1st extension.
“Ok, he asked for an extension…was it granted?”, asked Bastrop resident Calvin Pipes.
The answer: it was not, which is why, up until yesterday, Bastrop was listed on the state auditors site as “non-compliant,” meaning the city wouldn’t be elegible for any state money until the audit was complete.
“I thought I owed it to the people to measure the asphault to show the legislative auditor where every pebble was”, said Cotton.
Months ago we reported Bastrop residents were concerned city employees were stealing asphault. During the time, the city was in the middle of a $4 million road repaving project. The mayor says part of the reason why the he needed more than three days to complete the audit was so that he could dispell those rumors.
Pipes believes “some of its rumors, some of its truth.”
“These findings were things like the mayor is helping out at Bastrop High School, the general citizen doesn’t want him to do that”, stated Cotton.
The mayor says the audit is hefty, but it is detailed. He made sure to complete it with pictures and measurements.
“Oh it’s pretty thick, it’s about 150 pages I would imagine” said Cotton.
Pipes is glad the paperwork is in, but he’s not happy with the time frame.
“I think it’s unfair for anything to come in later than it should”, said Pipes.
The state auditors office says Bastrop is officialy off of the non-compliance list. The office will be reviewing the audit and it will be published online with in the next week or so.