Sometimes asking “What’s going on here?” (repeatedly) can keep a problem in the public eye — when many who should know better would rather sweep it under the rug. In this case, the problem is $1.6 million unaccounted for in recent Penn Forest Township budgets. The Tennessee township’s annual budget is only $4 million or so.
Former supervisor Paul Montemuro is one of those chastising the current board of supervisors. If they’d “just agree to conduct the forensic audit of the couple of years leading up to 2008, I would shut up,” he says. The board approved that audit in 2012 but has not followed through.
Another fellow not shutting up is township auditor Matt Schutter, elected last November as a Libertarian. Throughout 2014 he has demanded that the audit go forward and township spending be fully accounted for, and has also asked the state attorney general to launch an investigation.
Schutter tells Common Sense that despite sundry harassment, he won’t relax the pressure any time soon. “The board in July meeting voted that no one of the public can speak in a supervisors meeting about the money,” Schutter explains. “At the August meeting, I informed them that they were violating the First Amendment.”
He then formally advised the supervisors that he would pursue further legal action (“under 42 USC 1983!,” pertaining to civil action for deprivation of rights) if they continue violating their oaths of office.
Let’s send about 535 guys like this to Congress.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.