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Audit: Glendale retirement program may be illegal

GLENDALE, Ariz. — A new report showed there may have been possible wrongdoing at Glendale City Hall.

A 250-page audit revealed that the city may have broken the law after it mishandled an early retirement program worth millions of dollars in 2010. The audit said city management transferred money into several trust funds without council approval and some employee retirement contracts were not in the city’s best interest.

Mayor Jerry Weiers said the public has the right to know when there may have been problems in Glendale.

“The city understands that mistakes were made,” he said. “As the new mayor and the new council coming on with promises of full disclosure and transparency to our citizens, it’s important that we get that information out there.”

The audit said that former Glendale City Manager Ed Beasley allowed Human Resource Director Alma Carmicle continued to collect her annual salary of over $151,000 from her home in Mississippi, where her duties for Glendale were limited to negotiating a labor agreement with police and firefighters. She continued to collect the money even after the city promoted another employee to acting director to take over some of her duties.

The audit claims that decision to keep Chief Financial Officer Art Lynch on the city’s payroll after he retired were “not in the best interests of the city.”

“The Arizona Republic” reported in 2010 that Lynch returned to city hall the day after he retired. The city paid him as a consultant for negotiations with groups who were interested in buying the Phoenix Coyotes.

Weiers said the results of the audit will be turned over to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, which will decide whether anyone will be prosecuted.