Oceano’s financial records manipulated?
June 8, 2011
Oceano’s former general manager asked the company he purchased a controversial new computer system from to input unconfirmed accounting data leaving the district unable to come up with accurate financial information.
After years of financial mismanagement, Oceano Community Services District facing insolvency, is behind almost three years on audits and has seen three temporary interim general managers leave within two weeks.
Oceano’s former general manager, Raffaele Montemurro, said he was unable to get passwords for the district’s old computer system, so he somehow arrived at numbers that he gave to the company that he purchased a more than $200,000 computer system from. It was these numbers that were inputted into the new system.
Typically, Tyler Technologies takes financial data from an agency’s old computer system and inputs it into the new system, said Elven Corder, Tyler Technologies vice president of implementation.
In this instance, however, after much debate, Tyler Technologies agreed to input unverified data into the new computer as long as Montemurro and the former president of the Oceano board, Jim Hill, would agree to sign a contract which would hold Tyler Technologies harmless from any damages that might occur.
However, Montemurro never asked Hill to sign the agreement, dated January 26, which appears to have been signed by Lori Angelo, then district board vice president. It was not until CalCoastNews called board members to ask about the agreement that they became aware of its existence.
“He needed to take the data from the old system, but he wouldn’t do it,” Hill said. “Apparently he decided to just put in numbers which is stunning.
“I was starting to smell a rat,” added Hill, who stepped down from the board in March claiming Montemurro refused to follow instructions.
Angelo told CalCoastNews she does not remember signing the agreement. Even so, according to district policy and the Brown Act, board members are required to inform the entire board of actions they take on behalf of the district.
“If that is her legitimate signature, it is appalling,” Hill said. “Anything like this would need to be a board decision and the board would have brought Montemurro up on charges for suggesting it.”
The document said that Tyler Technologies agreed “to convert general ledger, accounts payable and payroll data for which you are not able to provide any documentation that can be used to verify individual general ledger account balances, vendor balances, accounts payable balances or employee pay history.”
“Tyler Technologies further cautions that the data should not be represented to any reporting authority as audited financial information nor should it be submitted to any auditing authority, as it has not been subject to any authenticating procedures,” the agreement says.
Oceano’s board terminated Montemurro two weeks ago. He was let go following a CalCoastNews exclusive that showed Montemurro’s net pay appeared to have increased above his contracted amount, according to district records.
Montemurro appeared to have been overpaying himself for more than a month. Shortly after the CalCoastNews exclusive, he changed the amount of his last paycheck back to his contracted pay, according to district records.
During the past two weeks, three interim general managers have quit the district. The first quit after a day claiming to have health related issues.
The second, procured through a temp agency, declined shortly before they were scheduled to begin. The third lasted a few hours and left noting that numerous district documents were missing.
(edit:6/9/2011 added documents)