Audit in Deerfield Reveals Creative Accounting by City Contractor | The Daily Pulp | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

Broward News

Audit in Deerfield Reveals Creative Accounting by City Contractor

The graphic on the right comes from an email that Deerfield Beach's forensic auditor sent Monday to the city attorney. It shows the income that Dan Poitier drew over three years of running the Westside Deerfield Beach Businessmen Association, a nonprofit organization that received federal funds through the city for building and rehabbing homes for low-income families.

As you can see, there's a significant difference between what was paid to Poitier through the WDBA's bank account, the income reported on his W-2 filing, and the 990 tax return that was filed on WDBA's behalf.

Last week, we told you that the forensic auditor, Kessler International, had asked the city to request additional financial records of WDBA. But in an email auditor Michael Kessler sent Monday to City Attorney Andy Maurodis, it's apparent that WDBA didn't deliver.

Referencing the graphic above, Kessler writes:

We cannot determine how these [dollar] amounts were derived. No payroll records exist in the documents provided.
Isn't that peculiar? You would think someone like Dan Poitier, who chairs the city's Planning and Zoning Board, would appreciate a city's desire for its contractors to provide complete tax records, documenting what it makes and what it spends.

And even if it was an oversight on Poitier's part, then you would think the president of WDBA, Felecia Poitier, would have made sure that the organization was more diligent in its bookkeeping. After all, Felecia Poitier's mother is Sylvia Poitier, a career politician who is currently vice mayor of Deerfield Beach.

Other financial snafus that appear in the Kessler email: WDBA paid a construction manager named Emmanuel Okwor $5,000 for working on a home at 229 SW Second Court. But the checks were made payable to Okwor, not his corporation, Onel Associates, meaning Okwor was free to simply cash that check. Kessler found no 1099 form issued to Okwor.

WDBA also contracted with a consultant named James L. Hudson, who was to be paid $1,000. Only the WDBA account shows no disbursements to Hudson. There appears to be some relationship between Hudson and Okwor's corporation, Onel Associates, as both list addresses of 2880 W. Oakland Blvd. Kessler notes that this is the previous address of the Community Partnership Program Inc., of which Sylvia Poitier was an officer.

Yet another mystery left unresolved by WDBA documents: a check paid to an accountant named Antoinette Patterson for $1,900 for an audit. Kessler found that neither "an invoice nor an audit report has not been provided by WDBA for our review."

Finally, there's no trace of the $1,831.25 monthly payments made by the City of Deerfield Beach for a developer fee. "Due to the documentation provided by the WDBA," wrote Kessler, "it cannot be determined the purpose of these expenditures."

KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Thomas Francis

Latest Stories