City awaits Retro Metro audit documents - - Jackson, MS

City awaits Retro Metro audit documents

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The Jackson City Council approved a $45,000 lease payment to Retro Metro on Monday, but they're also awaiting audit information from the group.

Retro Metro owns a portion of the Metro Center Mall which was recently converted into office space for the City of Jackson. For a while now, Retro Metro has claimed it exceeded a budgeted amount for the renovations, and it wants the city to pay the excess.

The City wants to make sure that's true, but audit documentation is coming in too slowly, council members say, and no one seems certain about what the city's obligations are versus the company's.

"An audit is supposed to be conducted by Retro Metro and presented to the City, and not internal audit to go through a bunch of receipts, which is what it sounds like to me," says Ward 6 Councilman Tony Yarber.

"I don't see any way internal audit can do anything meaningful without all the data supplied to you that you should have," says Ward 7 Councilwoman Margaret Barrett-Simon.

To complicate matters further, back in 2012 the City Council voted to hire an outside auditing company to see how Retro Metro spent $50,000 to be used for high-speed internet wiring. It's unclear whether that company was ever hired.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of State recently investigated former Retro Metro partner David Watkins. The popular downtown developer is accused of misappropriating $587,000. Watkins denies the allegation. We are still awaiting the final determination from the Secretary of State's office. 

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