The following is a statement from Mayor Chris McBarnes and Clerk-Treasurer Judy Sheets on financial variances at the Frankfort Parks Department and termination of Parks Superintendent Joel Tatum
Financial variances have been brought to the attention of Frankfort City officials related to the operations of the Parks Department.
As the chief executive officer and chief financial officer of the City, we immediately started an examination as soon as the variances came to light. Our initial examination showed evidence of information of financial variances that means working in conjunction with the Indiana State Board of Accounts may be necessary. Pending the results of the examination, the Parks Superintendent was offered a different position within the Parks Department.. He declined to accept the position and was then terminated from employment with the City of Frankfort effective Wednesday, October 11, 2017.
“As Clerk-Treasurer, it was my responsibility to require all City employees to attend internal control standards training which was completed by December 31, 2016. Because of the ordinance in effect, we had guidelines to follow. Ultimately, we are examining this matter because Frankfort’s foundation is built on sound leadership standards,” Clerk-Treasurer Judy Sheets said.
“According to our written policies, breaches of our internal controls are subject to significant levels of internal scrutiny. If and when we are informed of any material breach, the Board of Public Works and the Mayor’s Office must actively examine the breach and adjust policies and procedures to prevent such breaches in the future. We are obligated to examine the situation to its fullest. As the stewards of taxpayers’ trust and dollars, we will do no less.
“From an internal communications standpoint, I spoke with the Parks Department staff last Friday morning. In order to continue with the outstanding tradition and reputation of the Parks Department, in addition to his role as our Street Superintendent, Jason Forsythe will serve as interim Parks Superintendent.
“I have every expectation that under Jason’s leadership, business as usual will continue for all our City parks. We thank Jason for stepping up into a second leadership role at this time and to the Parks Department staff for continuing their commitment to outstanding service to our community,” Mayor Chris McBarnes said.
Because the entire matter is under examination, there will be no further comments made by City officials at this time.