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Jeanerette mayor speaks out after state appoints administrator to take over city operations

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Jeanerette, La. -

The mayor of Jeanerette is speaking for the first time since the state ordered a takeover of the city's finances. The city hasn't completed any financial audits since 2014, nor has it reconciled its bank accounts since August.
     
When state auditors went to look at the town's financial records, even they couldn't make sense of the documents.

"The city has had three years to try to get things organized and get their act together," Bradley Cryer of the Legislative Auditor's Office said. 

That's the position of the legislative auditor's office, who has tried to help Jeanerette get its finances in order for the last three years.

Now, the city is awaiting a judge to appoint a fiscal administrator. KATC asked Mayor Aprill Foulcard if she felt responsible. She responded, "I support the information that's gathered, but on my behalf, I did what was necessary. I wish things were different, but it wasn't." 

The fiscal administrator will have broad powers, including the ability to change the budget, reorganize city departments, and oversee all city employees. The administrator will also have the power to change employee job descriptions.

"They're acting in advisory capacity," Cryer said. "The employees working there would be reporting to the fiscal administrator. He or she would have the final say on operations or changes to their job duties or anything like that."

Foulcard says although she did everything she could to fix the city's finances, her future in city hall is uncertain.

"I felt I did what was necessary to get the CPA firm in here to take care of getting the bank reconciliation up to par," Foulcard said. "Unfortunately, it just exceeded the timeline."  

When KATC asked Foulcard what her duties will be once the administrator is appointed, she replied, "That is to be determined." 

To read our previous story about Jeanerette finances, click here. 

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