Cobb Sheriff's Office investigates LAPA fund finance discrepancies
by Kim Isaza
newseditor@mdjonline.com
April 07, 2010 01:00 AM | 2175 views | 2 2 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
COBB COUNTY - The Cobb County Sheriff's Office has been conducting a criminal investigation of financial discrepancies of the Lake Allatoona Preservation Authority since January, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

That same month, an accountants' review found excess payments made to Ron Papaleoni, who was the group's general manager until December.

Papaleoni has insisted he did nothing illegal.

Nancy Bodiford, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said her office received the complaint on Jan. 27, during a meeting with District Attorney Pat Head and LAPA's directors.

"They requested we look at it to determine if there were criminal charges in the case," Bodiford said. "We have no way of telling how long it will take as there is a lot of information to gather."

The LAPA office is in Acworth, so Cobb authorities have the venue, she said.

Robert L. Morrison, chairman of the Authority board, said the executive committee of the board made the decision to turn over a written review by Moore & Cubbedge accountants to the district attorney.

The accountants found several discrepancies in the organization's financial records for the last three fiscal years. The accountants reviewed disbursements from the Authority's bank accounts and found that in 2009, Papaleoni was paid $98,911, when the budget for his services was $40,000. In 2008, he received $96,650 although the budget was $24,000.

"LAPA did not have the funds to pay for a comprehensive audit. Certain requests for supportive data were not answered or provided to the satisfaction of the accounting firm LAPA had engaged, and some records they had requested were claimed to be confidential and would not be made available to them," Morrison said of why the report was turned over to the district attorney's office. "I have absolutely no idea when or if we will hear anything from the Sheriff's department or the DA."

On Dec. 30, the Authority's board terminated Papaleoni and Erin Chavda, who had worked there for one year. Chavda was the coordinator of the Great Lake Allatoona Cleanup.

Papaleoni, 66, said Tuesday that he had done nothing wrong.

"I was not the only one to be paid from funds that were paid to me or my company. I was a contractor, and my company was a contractor," said Papaleoni, who worked for the Authority for 11 years. "If I have made mistakes, tell me what they are, and if I can't explain them, do what you need to do."
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Bama Bill
|
April 07, 2010
There has been no indictments or even charges against Master Chief Papaleoni, so I will continue to hold faith that there are reasonable answers to the bookkeeping issues. I assume that the LAPA Board or at least some of it's members have a fiduciary oversight responsibility and financial reviews and limited audits and I have read little of what has happened in these areas.
Pat H
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April 07, 2010
Love you dearly Sheriff Warren. Could you also look into the Cobb EMC because Pat Head seems too busy.
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