A forensic audit of a county water board, which was just made public and originally performed with the hope it would “help get (the board’s) credibility back” is serving to raise more questions and eyebrows than restore confidence in its management.
DV Consulting, which is operated by Darryl C. Wilson Sr. and Virginia Shanahan, found evidence of ethics violations, misuse of company funds, nepotism, burning of records, fear of one manager by all employees interviewed, among many other accusations. The audit even found the authority was paying the college tuition of one of its employees, who apparently spent work hours making sophomoric YouTube comedy videos.
The audit was performed by interviewing employees and digging through financial records, which, according to DVC, were purposely shuffled prior to the audit of the Mobile County Water, Sewer and Fire Protection Authority based in Theodore.
The MCWSFPA board provided Lagniappe with a complete copy of the audit two months after the initial request. During the two-month period, two employees were fired, but one has since been reinstated.
Office Manager Sylvia Hutto and GIS Analyst Christopher Taylor were fired, but since then, Taylor has been hired back.
Before the terminations, the idea of an audit was suggested during a MCWSFPA meeting on March 22 by the Mobile County Commissioner responsible for appointing the entire board asked them to consider this move.
Commissioner Jerry Carl cited the public’s perception of the authority due to a number of media articles as his reasoning for the request.
“This water system has a problem with bad press. That’s why I’m asking you, the board, to consider a forensic audit, which is different from a regular audit,” he said in March. “With a forensic audit, you give them your information and let the auditors back into them and put the numbers together. Every time I pull up the Lagniappe I’m hoping not to see a story about (MCWSFPA). This is something you can do to help get credibility back.”