Todd Langlois Must Audit The Library

Oh, sorry. I forgot. He was terminated as Auditor General.

Okay, let’s have the Lead Auditor, Angela Berry, do it. Oooops, she is on medical leave due to working in an alleged “toxic work environment.”

I was then going to suggest Mike Dunbar but he has retired hasn’t he. That was before those 11 box of documents were suddenly found too. I don’t think that his “draft audit” has ever been published yet either.

Even though it is his former employee, now you know why Dwight Duncan has no choice but to demand as well from the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing that the City of Windsor be audited by him supporting the petition of over 750 Windsor residents.

Some weird things were happening in Windsor yesterday.

I am sure that you’ve heard all the sirens around town. Those were emergency units being sent out across the City to avoid any kind of serious injury to citizens after the “nuclear” fallout from the blowing up of political career of Councillor Dwight-Lite.

That strange sound you heard…it sounded like a “glug, glug, glug” or a big toilet flushing. That was the political career of Councillor Dwight-Lite going down the drain.

Finally that smashing sound on Ferry Street was not demolition the start of the Star building for the University. No, those were the café latte cups being thrown around the Star Newsroom by all of those people on the Editorial Board, the Columnists and reporters who tried to boost the career of Councillor Dwight-Lite to become our next Mayor and then saw their actions go up in flames.

Actually, I ought to be serious because what Councillor Maghnieh did is not a laughing matter.

Honestly, you can’t make this stuff up. Charging $3,000 of personal expenses to a Library credit card. Here is how the Councillor showed his remorse on Twitter:

What this incident shows in my opinion is a significant lack of judgment on the part of the Chair of the Library Board. It is pretty clear that this guy cannot manage a few thousand dollars and yet he is making decisions worth millions for our City. OMG

To be frank about it, the Star story was pathetic. Sure, it reported the facts about $3,000 but it left open more questions than it answered. Hopefully, the Star will follow up today but here are the obvious things that came to my mind as I read what went on:

• What is the Board policy on the use of a corporate credit card
• when did this policy come into effect
• who approves the expenditures of the Chair and other members of the Board
• when were these expenditures of the Chair made i.e. over what period of time
• what were they for
• does the Chair have his own Personal credit card and why didn’t he use it for these expenditures
• does the Chair have receipts for the expenditures to justify what were represented as Library expenses.

I am sure there are some more questions to ask but those are just a few off the top of my head. By the way, I wonder if he has a School Board corporate credit card and did he charge personal expenses to that as well. If not, then why did he only do it for the Library card?

Does Dwight-Lite expect anyone to take him seriously:

“Maghnieh said he may have charged the occasional sandwich for himself to the card, but nothing major.” (Chris Thompson Windsor Star April 20, 2012)

Those must be huge sandwiches to run up such a bill. Remind me not to ever invite him out to lunch. I wonder who charges that much money in Windsor or is he just a big tipper.

You have to wonder why all of a sudden the Councillor/Chair decided to bring this matter to the Board’s attention and pay back the money. The Star does not really go into that. Moreover, was there a Star Reporter in attendance at the Library Board meeting or did someone tell them about it? If so, whom?

In the circumstances, frankly, the Councillor should be submitting his resignation as Chair of the Board. It is such an egregious error in judgment. Moreover, is anything going to be done by the Library Board or will they sweep it under the rug? Are they going to bring in their Auditor to find out if there are any other problems with respect to corporate credit cards and expenses?

However, the person that I am terribly disappointed in is Councillor Payne. What kind of an outrageous remark is this:

“Windsor Public Library Board vice-chair Hilary Payne said Maghnieh is being honest and handled the issue as best he could.

“He’s new to the business,” said Payne.

“I think that’s part of what’s happened here.”

Dwight-Lite is a big boy. He knows what the rules are. He did not follow them. Simple. Just see what he said about another situation that I quoted down below. He is no amateur at this.

Dwight-Lite has been around long enough as assistant to the Minister Finance so that he understands very well what the rules are with respect to expense accounts. You follow them or you’re gone.

Do you think for one minute that Dwight Duncan would allow something like this to happen so that he could be criticized at Queen’s Park? Dwight-Lite would be gone in a flash. And yet Councillor Payne tries to make an excuse for him.

What would Hilary Payne as City CAO do if an employee of his committed such a blunder in violation of City policy? I would expect that the employee would no longer be working for the City by the time that Mr. Payne got through with him! And yet Councillor Payne tries to make an excuse for Dwight-Lite.

But that is not what my real complaint is with respect to Councillor Payne:

“Payne, a city councillor and former City of Windsor CAO, said he is personally opposed to anyone having a municipal credit card.

“When I was with the city I never had a credit card myself and I never allowed my staff to have one,” Payne said.

“The reason I have a strong feeling about it is because these kind of things can happen. It’s kind of there but for the grace of God go I. If you have a company credit card sooner or later you’re going to use it, you’re going to be short of money or something and use it for a personal purpose. The best thing to do is to never have one.”

Does the Councillor believe that his function as a member of the Library Board is to just sit there and be a bump on a log? He knew what the policy was as well with respect to corporate credit cards. If there were concerns about it that he had based on his experience, did he raise it at a Board meeting and what was the result? If he did not raise it, then why should he still remain as a member of the Board? What he feared actually happened!

There is more to this I am afraid than meets the eye. How many scandals or at least alleged scandals have there been over the years with respect to the Head of the Library? Too many for my liking and now we have another one.

The more that goes on, the more that this City needs an independent Auditor General, not a captive outside accounting firm, to start going through the books and records of this City. What else may be buried here that is costing taxpayers many dollars.

By the way, Dwight-Lite buried himself with his own mouth:

“The Windsor Public Library board is calling on the city’s new auditor general to investigate “serious irregularities” discovered in the finances of the previous library board – irregularities that involved a specific person.

“There is an identifiable individual,” said current library board chairman Al Maghnieh. “I will not and cannot speak to the identity of that person, but what I will say is that it is a former board member.”

Asked to elaborate on what’s been found, Maghnieh said it’s too early to disclose details, but the allegations involve planned transactions with Windsor Public Library money.

“We have protocols and policies in this place when it comes to how you go about a transaction or you go about procuring something.”

According to Maghnieh, the rules were not followed…

Asked if the investigation could lead to the involvement of other authorities – such as law enforcement – Maghnieh said it’s “premature to speculate.”

Karma really does work in mysterious ways.

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About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian Shalapata is the owner and publisher of Square Media Group. He covers politics, the police beat, community events, the arts, sports, and everything in between. His imagery and freelance contributions have appeared in select publications and for organizations in Canada and the United States. Contact Ian with story ideas.