September 6, 2019
Dear Commissioners Redefer, Bauer and Cooke:
Thank you for your reply yesterday with Mayor Redefer and Commissioner Bauer’s reason provided for the missing audit, and its ongoing non-compliance with the Town’s Charter which Commissioners are sworn to uphold. I am in receipt of that reason that Jeffrey Smith and one other person is responsible for the Commissioners ongoing violation of the Town's Charter.
We all can agree that the violation of the Town Charter requirement of an Annual Audit due on August 15, 2019, should have come 30 days before the election, is a serious matter. We can hopefully also agree the citizens of Dewey Beach deserve to have the information contained in the forthcoming Audit to guide their voting decisions, and since that is not available, Citizens deserve answers as they vote.
Therefore a few follow up accountability questions have arisen for you to explain, which require you to click reply and indicate an Admit or Deny. The referenced documents are linked at the bottom of the page as a courtesy.
1) Do you Admit or Deny that the former auditor, TGM Group (Please Reply with an Admit or Deny on each of the lettered items):
A. Resigned as the Town’s auditor in a letter dated on or about February 19, 2019.
B. And that you were aware of the resignation prior to February 19, due to communications with TGM.
C. That February 19, 2019 resignation letter was dated six months (minus four days) before the Charter required Audit deadline of August 15, 2019.
D. The TGM resignation letter was not disclosed to the public or media until March 21, 2019 when a Town official posted the TGM letter on the town’s website.
E. That between February 19 and March 21, before posting the TGM resignation letter, the town manager, and the audit committee chair negotiated with TGM to reverse their resignation, and such negotiations were not disclosed to the public or the media, or the full Audit Committee membership or the Town Council’s Audit Committee liaison.
F. That the Mayor was aware of the negotiations prior to the March 21 unveiling of the February 19 TGM resignation letter.
2) Do you Admit or Deny that you voted, in town Council meetings, as recorded in Meeting Minutes as follows: (Please Reply with an Admit or Deny on each of the lettered items):
A. That you voted for the TGM contract for Phase 1 (linked below) which detailed a cost between $11,250 and $13,750.
B. That you did vote for the TGM contract for Phase 2 (linked below) which contained $12,500 and $15,000.
C. That the total of Phase 1 and 2 TGM contract estimates, approved separately as documented in the Minutes (linked below) linked below add up to $28,750.
3) Regarding the Contract language with TGM do you Admit or Deny the following: (Please Reply with an Admit or Deny on each of the lettered items):
A. You voted for the Town entering into contracts with TGM, for both Phase 1 and Phase Two (linked below)
B. Both Contracts with TGM contained the same provision as follows: “The fee estimate is based on anticipated cooperation from your personnel and the assumption that unexpected circumstances will not be encountered during the engagement. If significant additional time is necessary, we will discuss it with you and arrive at a new fee estimate before we incur the additional costs.”
C. That you are now aware from pages 1 and 3 from the January 11, 2019 FOIA response that the billing from TGM to the Town for the AUPR in Phase 1 and Phase 2 was over double the estimate of $28,750, and amounted to $62,446.
D. That the Town Manager’s “Financial Summary Notes” (linked below) first disclosing payments to TGM, was issued by the Town Manager on February 13, 2019, four days after the Audit Committee meeting of February 9 where the issue of TGM was discussed. (see February 9 video below)
E. That you did not participate in any public Council discussion, vote, or public resolution to acknowledge or approve any increase over the fee estimates (as detailed in question #2 above) as specified in Phase 1 or 2 of the TGM contracts.
F. That you, as a Town Commissioner other than the Mayor, did not take any action in public or in a public meeting to either inquire about the cost overruns or approve the final billing from TGM for the AUPR regarding either Phase 1 or Phase 2.
G. That you are now aware, on Page 11 of FOIA response (dated 1/11/2019 linked below) a hand notated post-it style note shows a Town staff member wrote on a TGM bill “approved by TJ 5/12/18” (TJ indicating the Mayor TJ Redefer) without any indication of its approval or knowledge by other Commissioners.
H. That TGM’s billing of the town was over double the amount of the estimates for the AUPR, and which required consent and notice of the town, was improper.
I. That DCA described the material failures of the AUPR in a comprehensive report dated August 17, 2018, detailing how TGM failed to report on the matter of the Military Surplus program and had serious conflicts of interest in TGM failing to have found the accounts in its five years for the Town. Given these detailed facts, it would be improper for the Town to have used TGM for a sixth consecutive year.
Thank you in advance for your replies on these additional questions that have arisen. You may attach any additional information as you wish. If I do not hear from you with answers to the above specifics I will report you do Admit the facts as accurately stated above.
Full disclosure: We will be providing your answers to the public, the Citizens (propert owners and residents) of Dewey and the media along with a press release. Due to deadlines of other parties, and the importance to the citizens of Dewey, your response by the close of business today, is appreciated.
Jeffrey C. Smith
Dewey Citizens for Accountability (DCA)