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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Corruption, Collusion, and Cover Up Just Normal Sailing For Lisbon Town Government Operations!


I want to apologize up front for the length of this article but because of Chairman LaRochelle insisting I do not have correct information; I am forced to provide proof utilizing town documents.  I would like to think my word is good enough but the town council tries to down play everything I present to the council.

A representative of the town attended the State of Maine auction for vehicles and obtained three trucks on various dates.  I want to discuss two of these trucks and how they were obtained.  The first one is a 2003 Ford F250 for Public Works.  The cost of the vehicle was $5,500.00.  Below is a copy of the Purchase order with the account the funds were taken from.  If you look at the account E03-305-5390 you will find it is assigned to the Public Works Department for Supplies Parts.  I have included a copy of the budget provide by the Finance Director.  This line item is supposed to be used for “provides parts for all units as necessary”.  I cannot believe a Ford F250 truck qualifies as parts for all units as necessary.

Second, was a 2002 GMC Sierra K2500 for $5,000.00 for the Recreation Department?  I have included a copy of the Purchase Order but this line of accounting is crossed out and another one added.  This gets even crazier because E04-405-5380, which was the original line of accounting, is for Supplies Operating and this was changed to E04-405-5201 which is Advertising/Notices.  Trust me it is a long stretch to justifying the purchase of a 2002 GMC Sierra K2500 under Advertising/Notices.  Also note there is not sufficient funds in the Advertising/Notices account to cover the $5,000.00.

Both of these Purchase Orders are signed by our town manager, Stephen Eldridge; so much for verifying the information pertaining to our tax dollars.  If you are wondering how this applies to creating a slush fund.  This is how the town manager and the town council scam the taxpayers.  First you increase each line item in the budget under the pretense of needing to have a little more to cover emergencies when in fact it is used to create the slush fund.  This is one of the reasons why the town raised our taxes last year. 

Now think about this!  Each of the lines of accounting are going to show payment for these trucks as expenditures under these line item so with this coming budget we will have to increase these lines of accounting to cover the increase in spending.  These expenditures have absolutely nothing to do with these line items but they are going to show up as money spent on these line items.  This will increase our budget in the coming year.   This is how you create a slush fund to be used by the town manager to purchase whatever he wants at taxpayers’ expense.

How can you determine how much you need to operate if you continue to apply unrelated items to line items?  It is impossible to determine where to make cuts in a budget if the accounting is not posted to the correct line of accounting.  I now have shown where the furniture for the Communication Center was charged to the wrong accounts and again with these two trucks. 

This is what I have discovered on my own but it certainly reveals a pattern of misappropriation of town funds. 

Larry Fillmore
Concerned Citizen

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