EAST ST. LOUIS – A forensic audit into East St. Louis Township finances is being carried out after the township used $55,000 from its certificate of deposit account to meet payroll.
The audit centers on the management of the general assistance fund and the general fund from Jan. 1 to March 14, both of which ran out of money, Township Supervisor Alvin Parks said.
"What we are trying to do, what this is about, is making sure we are spending the money the right way," Parks told the Record.
The township board voted for the forensic audit to make sure money was not spent too fast, Parks said.
He added that $55,000 was drawn down from the CD account in February, and the audit is to "make sure all is in order."
Parks referred to the recent township history of audits that revealed several fraudulent transactions, including the diversion of nearly $1 million from the city's summer youth program.
In February, the township was running short of funds to complete payroll and was out of operational expenses, Parks said. He added that it was then decided to draw down from the CD account.
Parks said it was a "pretty serious situation, but not one that would put us out of business."
In order to tighten expenses, the township laid off one individual, while another resigned.
"We are not looking to close our doors, (we are) needed now more than ever," Parks said, citing the continued widespread poverty in the city.
He said the general fund was depleted because there are so many people in need, but noted that replacement money will be available as property taxes are collected through May and June.
On the money spent in the early months, Parks said the township wants to find out about "everything spent between those months ... to know where every dime has gone."