Atlanta Public Works Chief Concerned About Audit Showing Millions In Missing Supplies

Aug 28, 2014

Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza and City Councilwoman Cleta Winslow.
Credit City of Atlanta

Atlanta’s head of public works expressed concern Thursday over a recent report showing millions of dollars worth of supplies and materials within his department unaccounted for.

It comes in wake of widespread allegations of theft and mismanagement in another city department - Watershed Management.

The recently-released audit of public works shows the department lacks key inventory management controls and is highly vulnerable to theft. It says it’s unclear whether about $2 million in asphalt was used, lost, or stolen. 

“Our financial procurement systems are not married up to our work management systems to show the commodity going out in the same precise amounts that we’re receiving it so we’re going to do what we need to do to make it right,” said Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza.

Earlier this month, thirteen Watershed employees were fired amid three separate investigations into the department.

Mendoza said the issues with Public Works cited in the audit are different than those at Watershed.

“It’ll be looked at as seriously as the Watershed and I assure you our department will be tightening up our processes to make sure that we can account for all the resources we’re given by the public,” said Mendoza.

Mayor Kasim Reed has launched an investigation and said employees will be fired if necessary.