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CATS leader has "no clue" where missing $101,000 might be

3 years 11 months 3 days ago July 22, 2013 Jul 22, 2013 Monday, July 22 2013 July 22, 2013 10:22 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Ryan Naquin

BATON ROUGE - Leaders of the public transit system are scratching their heads over a huge amount of money that has vanished.

Monday, Capital Area Transit Systems said an intern financial check revealed $101,860 is missing.

"I have no clue where the money is exactly," CATS Chairman Isaiah Marshall told WBRZ News 2.

The interim CEO of CATS, Bob Mirabito, said he was told about the issue last week, and that the errors were due to a software glitch.

Documents obtained by the WBRZ News 2 Investigative Unit showed a loss nearly each month since at least January 2010. What is recorded inside tills on the bus doesn't match what is deposited at the bank. The biggest month of a difference was in April where $10,955 was missing.

"You can't just pass a tax for extra money for y'all to stay running, for extra buses and more routes and then just all of the sudden $100,000 come up missing," bus rider Cedric McCastle said.

McCastle's thoughts are not his alone. Some city leaders share the same frustration.

"It's absolutely terrible management," Baton Rouge Metro Councilman Buddy Amoroso said. Amoroso wants the entire CATS management gone.

"When you have something like this happen, it's just time to let everyone resign and start over," he said.

"The reason I did not know about it is because that's why we have a CFO," Marshall said. "Once the former CEO was gone and we began to unfold somethings, that's how this stuff began to come to light."

Marshall also said he was just made aware of the issue, too. Although, he has been on the board of directors for five years.

CATS CFO Gary Owen said he believes the problem could be a software glitch and did not report issues sooner because differences have happened for years.

The Louisiana Legislative Auditor is sending an investigative team to look into CATS practices in the next few days.


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