Supporters of former Sewickley Borough Manager Kevin Flannery have declared their indignation at the way Mr. Flannery was treated as he retired.
Multiple sources have told the Gazette that Borough Council gave Mr. Flannery an ultimatum – retire or be fired – and gave him 24 hours to clear out his office.
Borough Council President Jeff Neff confirmed that soon after Mr. Flannery’s replacement started work, Council approved the hiring of The Nottingham Group, a Pittsburgh accounting firm that specializes in forensic audits and fraud investigations.
The Gazette’s Right to Know request for the results of that audit were denied by Borough Solicitor Richard Tucker as “too broad.” Our request for the Borough’s engagement letter with the Nottingham Group was granted in part; the heavily redacted file Mr. Tucker sent does not illuminate.
Mr. Neff told the Gazette that the Nottingham group’s work was “not really a forensic audit”, and in any case, “nothing was found.”
Sources tell us that, au contraire, The Nottingham Group needed more time to unravel Borough financial transactions; Borough Council opted not to continue.
What prompted the precipitous departure of Mr Flannery, and the subsequent hiring of a forensic auditing firm?
Was it Council’s discovery of requests for payments to Borough vendors in excess of the amounts Council had approved?
Borough citizens need to know. If this is all a big kerfuffle – “nothing to see here, move along” – then Council and its long-standing Solicitor should be willing to share the results of the Nottingham Group’s work, in addition to any discoveries Council members made on their own.
Mr. Flannery and his support team should want this as well.
If there was something there, then why is it not being pursued?
Council members – and the Solicitor – have profound legal and fiduciary duties here.