Holloway: Mistake just simple error

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 8, 2001

&uot;Human error&uot; caused the City of Natchez to temporarily lose track of $806,000 in bond money for the Natchez Convention Center, the city clerk said.

On Thursday, City Clerk Donnie Holloway announced the discovery of $806,000 in previously unaccounted for funds for the convention center project.

Holloway said city officials began realizing something was amiss a few months ago.

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&uot;We had finished with the bluff stabilization, and we’ve got money left over, so we are doing Roth Hill,&uot; he said, referring to the rebuilding of Roth Hill Road from the bluffs.

Holloway said he realized the bluff stabilization account still had a sizable balance. It was enough to catch their attention.

&uot;We ran a paper trail on it a few months back,&uot; he said. &uot;We ran it twice, and we got the bank to run it twice. Both said it was bluff stabilization funds.&uot;

Recently, as construction of the convention center began nearing the final stages, Holloway said workers in the city clerk’s office realized the convention center funds were low.

&uot;We came up short on the convention center,&uot; he said. &uot;We were looking and had the CPAs to audit that account.&uot;

Holloway said the auditors, Gillon and Company from Natchez, were already working on the city’s annual audit. Holloway just asked them to take an immediate look at the fund discrepancy, he said.

The auditors discovered that, somehow, the money was &uot;mislabeled.&uot;

&uot;We were rolling about 10 or 12 CDs and about three or four came up at the same time,&uot; Holloway said. &uot;It could have been us or it could have been the bank. It was just a human error, that’s all.&uot;

Holloway said such an error should not happen again, because even before the labeling glitch was recognized the city changed its policy for handling such CDs.

&uot;We started some time ago, instead of saying just go ahead and rolling it, we put it in our account and we turned around and purchased another CD,&uot; he said.

&uot;We welcome any auditor,&uot; Holloway said. &uot;We’ve got nothing to hide.&uot;