DUBOIS – An accounting firm has been selected to perform a forensic audit for DuBois City.
At Monday night’s council meeting, it was announced the audit will be done by Boyer and Ritter LLC. The firm’s bid totaled $125,000 and the audit will take up to 12 months.
According to Interim City Manager Chris Nasuti, it’s possible the audit could be done sooner. Currently the first meeting with Boyer and Ritter is scheduled for June 5.
The firm was reccomended by the Pennsylvania Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED), and also preferred by the city auditor.
At previous council meetings, it was noted that DCED ultimately had “final say” on the forensic auditor selection, not city officials, who could only offer input.
During public comment, Ron Tryzna sought clarification concerning some watershed property. He said council had voted to purchase all 26 acres as a unified property.
However, he said someone—other than the original owners—split the property into three parcels and the city only purchased one parcel.
GPA Group LLC got the other two parcels, but Tryzna said, one parcel was eventually sold to suspended City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio.
Tryzna went on to allege that the sale went through for $1, and this purchase didn’t appear on Suplizio’s financial disclosure forms. He asked council if it was aware of the matter.
Solicitor Toni Cherry asked if Tryzna had observed the properties, which she stated lacked lumber and had already been depleted of usable resources.
She said the only value that was part of the 26 acres was on the city’s parcel, and that was an access road to the rear of the watershed.
Cherry said by purchasing this parcel only, the city gained the ability to gate off the road. It also didn’t expend funds on unneeded land that could’ve been better used elsewhere.
Tryzna said, according to city records, council voted to purchase all 26 acres. Cherry responded by saying that she had read the same meeting minutes.
But Tryzna said it was his knowledge that city employees had used brush hogs to clear all three properties. “Quite frankly, I’m not aware of that,” responded Cherry.
Later in public comment, Eric Brubaker indicated he had video of a city employee mowing the Suplizio property. Brubaker, though he knew their identity, didn’t disclose their name.
Jennifer Jackson also questioned council concerning an executive session that occurred the prior Saturday, and why Suplizio’s defense attorney was present.
Cherry indicated that Suplizio’s defense attorneys would like control over the statements being made so they may use them in the defense’s case.