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Meeting Highlights: Fraud Talk for Aldermen Covers Warning Signs, Prevention

The meeting happened Tuesday night at Clayton City Hall.

An auditor presentation and discussion are on the Tuesday agenda of the Clayton Board of Aldermen.

The following is a look at the discussion as it happened.

Have a question about the meeting? Post it to this article and we'll follow up.

7:24 P.M.: Alderman Cynthia Garnholz thanked Gary Carter, Judy Kekich, Darren Young and Owens for their work in putting on in Clayton.

The meeting has ended.

REGULAR MEETING: BANKING AGREEMENT EXTENSION

7:20 P.M.: The aldermen are considering an extension of the city's banking agreement with Pulaski Bank. The agreement expires Monday, and city staff are recommending that the city move toward extending the agreement for another three years.

The aldermen have approved the resolution.

REGULAR MEETING: HANLEY PARK PAVILION WORK

7:16 P.M.: Work on the is being considered by the aldermen.

Landscaping at the end of the project, tree-trimming and some other projects will be done by Clayton parks staff to mitigate costs, parks director Patty DeForrest said.

The resolution has been approved.

REGULAR MEETING: SUNSHINE LAW CODE UPDATE

7:12 P.M.: The aldermen are considering amending code to reflect an update to the Missouri Sunshine Law.

Owens said that under the amendment, the city would send out email notifications about the applicable meetings when they are posted at City Hall, but that state law doesn't require email notification.

The aldermen have approved the amendment.

REGULAR MEETING: BOND-ISSUANCE ORDINANCE, FIRST READING

7:09 P.M.: The aldermen are considering an ordinance about the issuance of bonds in a first reading. The funds will be used toward work at the future home of the on Brentwood Boulevard.

PUBLIC HEARING: CRUSHED RED CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT

7:08 P.M.: The conditional use permit received approval from the aldermen.

7:07 P.M.: Two people with the Crushed Red project are speaking about plans for the restaurant. It is expected to open Feb. 1,  will have 17 parking spaces and will accommodate 84 diners. Outdoor dining will be considered at a later date.

French toast casseroles, a breakfast flat bread and steel-cut oatmeal will be offered for breakfast. It also will have Sunday hours.

It will be located in the former Dick Blick Art Materials building on Maryland Avenue at its intersection with Meramec Avenue.

7:01 P.M.: A public hearing about Crushed Red Urban Bake and Chop Shop has begun. Here's the about the new restaurant.

At issue is consideration of a conditional use permit.

6:58 P.M.: The regular meeting has begun.

DISCUSSION SESSION: CLAYTON CENTENNIAL

6:52 P.M.: Ward I Alderman Judy Goodman gave a brief update on plans for the city's centennial in 2013. She is working with Clayton resident Elizabeth Robb, who chaired the city's celebration for the U.S. bicentennial in 1976.

Among other efforts, they are looking at existing events on city's calendar to determine how the centennial can be incorporated. They also are planning a public meeting—tentatively scheduled for Jan. 18 at —with KMOX's Charlie Brennan to get public feedback on how they would like to mark the anniversary, Goodman said.

The regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

DISCUSSION SESSION: FRAUD PREVENTION

6:46 P.M.: Mayor Linda Goldstein: "Some of the news stories lately, I just thought it was important that we hear what's out there and make sure we're doing everything as well as we are."

In neighboring Brentwood, former City Administrator Chris Seemayer was recently .

6:40 P.M.: City Manager Craig Owens provided an overview of some of the city's efforts to prevent fraud.

"There are multiple staff members, and we don't have a large staff, but they all have separate duties. ... It would take two or more people to commit a fraud in any of these areas," said Owens, describing the segregation of duties within the city.

The city also sends a list of checks issued to employees to its bank, a system known as positive pay. In the event that someone tries to cash a counterfeit check labeled as being city-issued, the bank won't cash it because it isn't on the list, Owens said.

6:31 P.M.: Alsop has been a certified fraud examiner since 2001, her online Hoschchild biography states. She also certified public accountant based out of the company's Washington, MO, office.

6:27 P.M.: Among the tips she suggested for preventing fraud:

  • Recognize it can occur
  • Involve many departments in an anti-fraud program
  • Have a fraud response plan
  • Set the proper tone with a code of ethics. "We want to make sure we are consistent with what we are doing," Alsop said.

6:22 P.M.: Fraud is most commonly identified through tips, Alsop said.
Perpetrators often display warning signs such as living beyond their means, family problems and addictions.

6:20 P.M.: The three main types of fraud and abuse are corruption, asset misappropriation and fraudulent statements, Alsop said.

6:17 P.M.: Tammy Alsop of Hoschchild Bloom and Company is giving a presentation about protecting organizations against fraud.

"You have controls in place, which are good," Alsop told the aldermen. "I've seen them, they work. But there's always some room for improvement."

6:06 P.M.: The meeting is set to begin at 6:15 p.m.

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