Audit Questions Deals for Outgoing Dallas Council Members

An audit released Monday said Dallas city policy and procedure were violated in the sale of city property to outgoing Dallas city councilmembers last year.

The audit said the six outgoing members did not violate any laws, but it blamed city staff for allowing record keeping oversights and deals some members received.

Former Councilman Dwaine Caraway, campaigning for a Dallas County Commissioner post now, paid $906.67 for items that originally cost the city $5,751.41, the audit said.

“We followed the city process,” Caraway said. “The city gave us a quote, we honored the quote and that’s where we are today.”

The items included a Tropical Green Granite Desktop that was in Caraway’s city hall office. The audit said the item cost taxpayers $2,016 that Caraway said came from money the city provides members for their offices. The audit said Caraway paid $162.37 when he left the city.

“At the end of the council term, you have an opportunity to say, ‘hey, I kind of like this, if I wanted to take this with me, how much will I have to pay the city,'” Caraway said.

The audit said former Councilman Sheffie Kadane owed $837 in delinquent personal property taxes when he left office and still had not paid in early January when the audit was prepared.

“All that is taken care of,” Kadane said Monday when contacted.

The audit also said Kadane paid $1,080.00 for two iPads, a MacBook computer, software and accessories that originally cost the city $2,895.89.

Kadane said he followed the procedure staff members told him to follow.

In the report released Monday, City Auditor Craig Kinton recommended a series of changes in city policy.

“That’s for the city to decide,” Caraway said. “I’m no longer on the city. I could agree with that.”

Dallas has a “City Store” on Irving Boulevard where it sells surplus and abandoned property from other city departments to recoup as much as possible for taxpayers.

The audit recommends outgoing councilmember items be priced and sold at the store. It also suggests numerous changes in accounting, inventory and record keeping.

The audit said some of the same changes had been recommended before without action.

This time a management response showed that Dallas City Manager A.C. Gonzalez and other officials agreed with each point of the corrective action plan.

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