BREAKING: SDN Communications accountant under investigation was Chairman of the City’s Audit committee

As you may or may not know an accountant for SDN Communications is under investigation;

SIOUX FALLS, SD – Officials with SDN Communications in Sioux Falls say they are the victims of embezzlement, and the person who is at the center of the case is their former chief accountant.

SDN Communications, the largest fiber-optic network in the region, says former accountant Brad Whitsell has been charged in federal court for employee misconduct that involved a “significant” amount of money.

But this is only half of the story;

As early as April of this year, Mr. Whitsell served as Chairman of the audit committee. I am having trouble finding his name on siouxfalls.org after that date. He started serving on the board as early as 2006 from what I can find. His term seemed to have ran out last month.

I thought his named sounded familiar to me, so I dug a little after a tip. While I’m sure this is not a good thing for SDN and can hardly say this is a good thing for the people of Sioux Falls. Remember the SE Fair debacle? How can we trust government when we have people like this serving on their boards? People who are supposed to be watching out for how taxpayer money is being spent? Wonder when the MSM will break this story? Not only do we need to have a full scale audit of the water department, we need to have a full scale audit of the audit committee. The other thing I find troubling is this tidbit of information;

The CEO of SDN says officials started noticing “financial irregularities” connected to Whitsell last year, and he was put on administrative leave so they could conduct a forensic audit and internal investigation. But, Whitsell resigned before the investigation even began.

Did SDN contact the city and let them know they were investigating him? Or that he resigned? He resigned last year but still sat on the committee until May of this year? This is all suspect. What did Brad tell the city in regards to the resignation? It’s not like the city doesn’t have a direct contact with SDN. Councilor Vernon Brown is marketing manager of SDN. He certainly had to know about the investigation or AT LEAST the resignation. Didn’t he think it would be wise to alert the Audit Committee?

Interesting stuff.



7 comments ↓

#1 l3wis on 06.15.11 at 2:21 pm

Perfect Chairman of the Audit Committee

http://www.keloland.com/NewsDetail6162.cfm?Id=116779

#2 Hilary on 06.15.11 at 2:59 pm

The Biz Journal broke the story online this morning with a mention of Whitsell’s city involvement.

http://siouxfallsbusinessjournal.argusleader.com/article/20110615/BJUPDATES/110615020/Former-SDN-accountant-faces-embezzlement-charges?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Home

#3 Pathloss on 06.15.11 at 3:55 pm

Corruption at city hall should be no surprise. Wait until an EC gets started with Huether predetermined ‘usual’ not ‘competitive bid’ contractors.

#4 scott on 06.15.11 at 4:21 pm

kelo had this last night. They showed the YouTube video that I’d guess Vernon had produced.

#5 l3wis on 06.15.11 at 8:27 pm

Hilary – Thanks. I see all they mentioned was he ‘volunteered’ no in depth like for instance he was ‘the chairman’ until a month ago.

#6 l3wis on 06.15.11 at 9:03 pm

I see Vernon went crying to Jen Holsen about my blog post: http://jenholsen.blogspot.com/2011/06/embezzlement-ties-to-city-of-sioux.html#comments

I sent a comment, not sure if it up yet.

#7 Hey, we don’t need no stinkin’ audit committee — South DaCola on 06.25.12 at 3:01 pm

[…] you may remember, a little over a year ago we had this audit committee debacle; Did SDN contact the city and let them know they were investigating him? Or that he resigned? He […]