BRISTOL, VA (WJHL) – The new Bristol Virginia Utilities board members met with auditors Thursday to discuss a draft audit that has been taking place since April.
Virginia’s Auditor of Public Accounts ordered the audit because of the recent criminal investigation that resulted in an overhaul of BVU leadership.
The auditors presented 57 recommendations to the board based on their findings. Among these findings were some serious violations by the former BVU board and management including repeated violations of the Virginia Public Procurement Act, discrepancies in financial statements and nearly $14 million of debt improperly removed from their financial statements.
“We received over 2,500 hours of professional forensics auditing of our systems and it’s given us a real clear roadmap,” CEO Don Bowman. “I think I have a lot of confidence it has identified all the major issues and we just have to go through a process of addressing them.”
Auditors will now put together a final draft of their findings. The BVU board and management will have an opportunity to respond to those findings and their response will be included in the final draft of the audit.
Bowman expects this draft to be done by their next board meeting on Oct. 12, and said it could be a 12 to 18-month project to address every issue.
The board also voted against a cable rate increase that could have been as high as a 10 percent increase.
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