ANDERSON – It has been determined the city of Anderson has not violated the Indiana Access to Public Records Act.
Indiana Public Access Counselor Luke Britt determined the city didn’t violate the state law in the formal complaint filed by Emma Herbert.
Herbert last November requested copies of the documentation of the receipts of the city-issued credit card used by Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick Jr.
Her request was a result of the Indiana State Board Accounts audit of city finances for 2017.
The audit indicated that the receipts were not attached to the credit card statements and the city lacked a written policy.
Herbert specifically requested the receipts for credit card billings in May, June and October 2017 and April 2018.
In his advisory opinion, Britt noted the city provided some of the requested documentation on Nov. 7 and acknowledged it was incomplete because the information was still being gathered.
“To what extent Herbert has received anything beyond the initial batch of documents on Nov. 7 in unknown, however, it is my sincere hope and expectation that the production continue until the request is complete,” Britt wrote in his opinion.
At the time the state audit was released, city officials indicated to The Herald Bulletin and to the Indiana State Board of Accounts that the receipts were in Broderick’s office and was just a matter of retrieval.
“Complicating the issue, however, is the City’s official response to SBOA (State Board of Accounts) and news reports from Oct. 11, wherein the city asserts that the missing documents are available and kept in the Mayor’s office,” Britt’s opinion states.
“This, of course, could set up an expectation of sorts on the part of the potential requester that the documents are at the ready,” the opinion continues. “Therefore, a delay in production may lead to the perception that the public was misled in some way.”
The state audit report tested accounts payable vouchers used to pay credit card statements from May, June and October on a credit card used by the mayor’s office. The report states no supporting documentation — including receipts, invoices, travel forms totaling $13,851 — was found attached or presented for audit.
“Subsequent to the audit period, we tested the APV (accounts payable vouchers) for the April 2018 credit card payment and again found purchases from the mayor’s office did not have supporting documentation totaling $5,647,” the audit states.