Last week the Gretna City Council fired its auditor, Ed Camnetar, after Councilman Vincent Cox alleged that Mayor Ronnie Harris was using dedicated funds to pay bills. Camnetar was emplyed by the City for over 20 years.
The City has $1.8 Million in funds dedicated to it’s Workers’ Compensation Fund. The City was self-insured from 1990 until 2006. In 2006, it secured private insurance but continued making $78,000 monthly payments into it’s old account.
In addition to separation payments for sick and vacation days, the fund has also been used to pay attorney fees and other items, according to Cox. He alleges the Workers’ Compensation Fund is in reality a “slush fund” for the Mayor to use without having to go through the Council.
“This is big, it’s bad, it’s ugly,” Cox said. “For the first time in my career, I have lost trust with the stewardship of the finances of the city.”
Cox asked City Attorney Mark Morgan to request the assistance of the state auditor to investigate the funds.
Mayor Harris said that he welcomes the audit and will respond to the charges in two weeks.
Walt Bennetti is the Publisher of ClickJefferson.com.