During the Thursday meeting, the Ludowici City Council also heard updates from auditor Christopher Lightle, who was brought on after city clerk Tara Manning was suspended earlier this month. At the Dec. 13 meeting, Lightle, an accountant with Karp, Ronning and Tindal Certified Public Accounting, presented a preliminary report that noted concerns about lack of budgetary controls, adopted financial controls not being enforced, duplicate payments for some services, cash accounts not being recorded accurately and financial statements not being reported monthly.
Lightle said that before he could move forward with his audit, the council should hire an outside firm to straighten out the financial records.
Lightle said he is unable to complete the work because it would compromise his independence as an auditor.
“If I’m in here cleaning up your accounting records, then my independence is out the door,” he said.