La Feria Taxpayers Question $3M Unaccounted for In Funds
LA FERIA - The city of La Feria addressed the millions of dollars unaccounted for in funds during a city council meeting Tuesday night.
The meeting took place at the small city commission room. David Mungia, a La Feria resident, was among other taxpayers demanding answers from the city.
“Well, those are big numbers, big discrepancies,” he said.
Mungia said he wanted to know why $3 million of their money is nowhere to be found. He said he wants whoever is responsible for the missing money to be held accountable.
“I don’t know what happened. I don’t want to be pointing fingers, but I just wish they get to the bottom of it,” he said.
La Feria city attorney Ricardo Navarro said the missing money has been accumulating for the past two years. He blamed the previous administration.
“So, what we know right now is that the record keeping is very poor,” he said.
Navarro said the discrepancies were found when the new administration took their seats. He said an independent auditor was called in to go over the city’s financial records.
“It’s possible it got spent on appropriate things, it’s just not documented,” the city attorney said.
Mungia said the amount is too high for someone not to have noticed.
Navarro said their probe will first start with the certificate of obligation funds. He said it’s where the first problems came to light.
He said former city manager Sunny Phillip can expect to be questioned.
“Since Mr. Phillip was the city manager in charge of that – that was one of his primary responsibilities – we’re going to go with him first, and see what he tells us. Maybe he has an explanation for it,” he said.
Navarro said Phillips’ non-profit organization will also be under their microscope. He said they are not ready to throw out the possibility of fraud.
The city attorney added the city manager has been advised to make the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office and the Texas Rangers aware of the situation.
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