By Charles Sercombe
That didn’t take long.
After about only two weeks from when the city council asked the FBI to investigate the invoices of contractors, agents from the federal bureau were in city hall this week.
Acting City Manager Kyle Tertzag, who suggested to the council that the FBI should be invited, confirmed that he has been talking to agents. He declined to elaborate on what the agents were looking at.
The request for the FBI came weeks after a private financial auditing company, SRR, was brought in to review some invoices from four of the city’s larger contractors.
In three of the companies, some invoices were deemed incomplete. In total, about $40,000 in bills could not be reconciled.
In one case, SRR said the city actually had no contract with a company called ADR, which provides internet and IT support services.
Since 2005, the city has paid the company nearly $545,000 for its services – all apparently without a contract.
SRR did not suggest there was any sign of wrongdoing.
Tertzag said he proposed bringing in the FBI or the state police or state Attorney General’s Office because the city has no money to continue a review of invoices with SRR.
Tertzag said hiring SRR would exceed $10,000 but had no estimate on how much it would end up costing the city.
Hamtramck is in the midst of a financial crisis, and Tertzag said that as of now, the city will run out of money to meet payroll or pay vendor bills by January or February.
The city has applied for up to $3 million in an emergency loan from the state to keep the city afloat. The state, however, is requiring a budget deficit reduction plan.
Tertzag said that unless the city shows a major overhaul in how it conducts business, it’s not likely the city will receive the loan.