Pigs in Suits — Supporting Documents

The full report can be found here: Pigs in Suits.

Excel spreadsheet analysis of the city’s credit card statements:
2014-04-01-analysis-EMC-cc-statements.xlsx.zip (.xlsx file in zip format)

Summaries of Eagle Mountain City food purchases by City Council and employees:

Select employee credit card statements that highlight specific types of spending problems:

Scanned copies of individual employee credit card statements:
Adam Ferre — Adam-Ferre-ENERGY-DIR-2010-2013.pdf
Angela Valenzuela — Angela-Valenzuela-EXECUTIVE-ASST-2012-2013.pdf
Angie Ferre — Angie-Ferre-SPECIAL-EVENTS-DIR-2010-2013.pdf
Chris Trusty — Chris-Trusty-PUBLIC-WORKS-DIR-2010-2013.pdf
David Crawley — Dave-Crawley-NATURAL-GAS-FOREMAN-2012-2013.pdf
David Norman — David-Norman-ASST-PUBLIC-WORKS-DIR-2011-2013.pdf
Deanna Whitney — Deanna-Whitney-HR-DIR-2010-2011.pdf
Fionnuala Kofoed — Fionnuala-Kofoed-CITY-RECORDER-2010-2013.pdf
Gordon Burt — Gordon-Burt-FINANCE-DIR-2010-2011.pdf
Heather Jackson — Heather-Jackson-MAYOR-2010-2013.pdf
Ifo Pili — Ifo-Pili-CITY-ADMINISTRATOR-2010-2013.pdf
Jason Lovell — Jason-Lovell-CUSTODIAN-2010-2013.pdf
Jason Walker — Jason-Walker-ASST-CITY-ADMINISTRATOR-2011-2013.pdf
Jeff Weber — Jeff-Weber-ASST-PUBLIC-WORKS-DIR-2011-2013.pdf
Jessica Alvarez — Jessica-Alvarez-HR-MANAGER-2012-2013.pdf
John Hendrickson — John-Hendrickson-CITY-ADMINISTRATOR-2010-2012.pdf
Kent Partridge — Kent-Partridge-BUILDING-OFFICIAL-2010-2013.pdf
Michele Graves — Michele-Graves-LIBRARY-DIR-2010-2013.pdf
Paul Jerome — Paul-Jerome-FINANCE-DIR-2012-2013.pdf
Rand Andrus — Rand-Andrus-FIRE-CHIEF-2010-2013.pdf
Steve Mumford — Steve-Mumford-PLANNING-DIR-2010-2013.pdf

Understanding the Financial Context

Here are some important things to remember as you explore these documents:

(1) City business at restaurants – A careful audit of the city’s restaurant expenditures reveals a clear pattern: city employees used every excuse possible to eat out on the taxpayers’ dime. It’s also worth noting that only a small percentage were actually travel related expenses for out-of-state conferences. The vast majority were local purchases made for their own entertainment, as evidenced by the wide variety of restaurants they patronized up and down the Wasatch Front.

As a general rule of thumb, city employees seemed to feel they had a right to use taxpayer money for personal meals if they perceived that the city had somehow inconvenienced them. For example, if they had to pick up a vehicle from an out of town dealership, they were entitled to a meal. If they had to go to a government meeting in Salt Lake, they were entitled to a meal. If an employee died and they went to his funeral, they were entitled to a meal. If they had to drive some senior citizens into American Fork for an activity, they were entitled to a meal. If they had a successful Pony Express Days even though it was a lot of work (by government standards), they were entitled to a meal. See a pattern?

But the most common excuse for their food purchases was that they were having a meeting, but some, if not all of these, were fraudulent. In one particularly egregious case, an employee claimed on his credit card detail report that he was having a “safety meeting” at Texas Roadhouse even though this particular restaurant is one of the loudest ones I have ever been to. I can’t imagine anyone having a productive meeting at this particular location. I’m pretty sure those public employees were just out for a good time and decided to let taxpayers pay for it. The same is probably true for the employees that visited local sports bars and private clubs while using their city-issued credit cards.

(2) Lost productivity, gas and vehicle expenses – The total dollar amount spent on the city’s food transactions only tells a small part of the story for taxpayers. Since there are only a handful of restaurants inside of Eagle Mountain’s city limits, employees and officials often had to do quite a bit of driving to get to and from their dining destinations. When employees take time out of their regularly scheduled work hours for travel, the hourly cost of their travel time may far exceed the cost of their meals. And then of course, there’s the additional gas and vehicle expenses to think about. In other words, the actual losses to taxpayers may be many times the cost of the meals themselves.

(3) Sharing credit cards – Since some city employees shared their credit cards with coworkers, not all the charges on their statements can be directly attributed to them. Yes, there is documentary evidence to support this charge.

(4) Departmental cross-billing – It also appears that it was very common for employees in one department to pay for items that were ultimately billed to another department’s expense accounts. This was often true of the city’s food charges. On more than one occasion the custodian was used as an errand boy for buy food for the city’s politicians.

(5) Misleading responsibility– While some employees have relatively few charges on their cards, it doesn’t mean they weren’t big recipients of the city’s largess. Some individuals like Ifo Pili, the city’s administrator, have assistants and executive assistants who probably made a lot of their purchases for them.

(6) Widespread abuse – While there are only about 20 people at any given time that have city-issued credit cards, most of the city’s food charges cover meals for multiple people. So while it may seem like only a few city employees were the beneficiaries according to the city’s credit card statements, the reality is that employees at all levels of the organization benefitted from the city’s spending. Sometimes even the spouses of employees and politicians were allowed to dine at taxpayer expense according to eyewitnesses who have seen them first-hand at restaurants which they were visiting independently.

(7) Party like the Romans – Many of the most outrageous charges were for the city’s special events. Like the Romans of old our small town politicians appear to have thought that if they throw enough parties for residents, the residents would never think to question what the city spent the rest of their money on. In 2012 the city put on about 57 special events; a truly astonishing number for a city with only 25,000 residents. Because the city appears to have adopted one of the most ancient political traditions in the western world, Mayor Jackson’s rodeo grounds ought to be renamed “The Coliseum” in honor of her largess.