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Internal audit results are in for Augusta mayor’s credit card spending

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 6:32 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The results are in for an internal audit investigating the Augusta mayor’s credit card spending. It comes after our I-Team started asking questions about how the money spent was being tracked.

The 11 pages include all the findings of the mayor’s internal audit. The official presentation will take place tomorrow but we received this advanced copy the same day as commissioners. Before the results even reach chambers commissioners are already split on what the finding means.

“One thing that I believe the audit will do is show that there was no wrongdoing,” said Augusta Commissioner Dennis Williams, District 2.

After our I-Team found Mayor Hardie Davis spent $40,000 last year. In response he requested an internal audit of his office by local accounting firm SME-CPS.

According to the findings, the mayor’s office was $64,000 under budget in 2020. Generally all credit card receipts were accounted for other than minor purchases and no purchase violated state or county code.

“It’s fine, its been all along what the mayor said it had been,” said Williams.

Williams say the results of this audit should ease concerns.

“Because we always quick to believe the wrong instead of the right,” he said.

But others say questions still linger.

According to the first page, the auditor says “We we’re not engaged to, and did not conduct and audit.”

“To call this an audit and then come out and say we did not conduct an audit was pretty confusing to me,” said Commissioner Brandon Garrett, District 8.

The audit also found several invoices from LC Studios exceeded the $5,000 threshold as outlined by city procurement policy. The mayor spent over $24,000 with LC Studios.

The procurement office also prefers local vendors. LC Studios is based in Florida.

“Looking at the LC Studios expenditures, and the fact that the auditor picked up the that it exceeded procurement procedures, really shows me that the mayor’s office also should have known those procedures,” said Garrett.

The findings recommended the city enact a credit card usage policy which they do have now. And it recommended the mayor’s office provide receipts for all transactions and use a credit card transmittal form.

We reached out to the auditor for more clarification. We did not hear back. But the company will present the findings in detail and answer any questions that commissioner may have during Tuesday’s commission meeting.

MAYOR HARDIE DAVIS’ STATEMENT ON THE INTERNAL AUDIT:

READ THE AUDIT:

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