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Shoddy Record-Keeping Slows Investigation of Deerfield Beach Festivals

The forensic auditor hired by Deerfield Beach to scrutinize payments by the city to festival performers and organizers has hit a dead end in the city's finance department, according to an email acquired this week through a public records request.

It appears the city's finance department has no records of having paid the Beach Boys, one of the biggest acts to ever play the Founder's Day Festival. In an August 31 note to the city manager and city attorney, investigator Michael Kessler wrote:

Since I'm pretty sure the Beach Boys did not appear at the 2006 Founders Day Fest for free, they were paid some way by the city, and the costs have been hidden.

In the note, Kessler says that he's been asking for documentation of payments to the Beach Boys for more than two months.

Founders Day 2006 was one of the festivals in which the city teamed with Riviera Beach-based promoter Jimmie Bo Horne. In an interview for a Juice post two weeks ago, Horne did not say he would provide all the documents that were requested by the investigator, Kessler. Rather, Horne said that those records are kept by the city.

Apparently not. Kessler's email makes a reference to a finance department official who told him that "she had previously looked for payments through the Jimmy Bo Horne payments and did not see anything resembling a payment to the Beach Boys."

And those aren't the only missing documents. Kessler, who first made his request for documents detailing payments for city festivals on May 28, wrote that he hasn't received information for any of the performers at the 2006 Founders Day Festival.

I'll make some calls later today and hope to update this post with additional information.

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Thomas Francis

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