Thursday, June 18, 2015

Joplin City Council to prepare response to state audit Monday night

The Joplin City Council will prepare its response to the state audit during a closed session Monday.

The auditors' report was revealed to the council during a heated closed session earlier this month, with City Hall sources telling the Turner Report that the findings were particularly critical of City Councilman Mike Woolston.

The criticism dealt with some of the issues addressed by the Loraine Report, which was highly critical of Woolston's efforts to buy property in the tornado-stricken area for Joplin developer Charlie Kuehn, who, in turn worked with former master developer Wallace-Bajjali and sold the property to the Joplin Redevelopment Corporation at a higher price.

Loraine accused the councilman of using insider knowledge and playing on his status as a city councilman and as the tornado mayor in his efforts to convince people to sell their property.

The auditors took the unusual step of issuing subpoenas to some of the CART (Citizens Advisory Recovery Team) members, who brought Wallace-Bajjali to Joplin.

After the council sends its response to the auditors, those responses will be included in the final report, which will be issued in a public meeting, most likely sometime in July.

The audit came as a result of a petition started by Joplin businessman David Humphreys.

During the open portion of the meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 5:45 p.m., the council will discuss insurance bids.

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