Request by Westlake residents to discuss financial audit denied - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Request by Westlake residents to discuss financial audit denied

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WESTLAKE, LA (KPLC) -

There was a lot on Westlake's City Council agenda, but it's what wasn't discussed that received the most attention Wednesday night. 

"We the people would like to have the audit review put into the agenda," said Laura Gardner, a concerned Westlake resident.

The audit findings Gardner was requesting were from the 2012-2013 financial audit report. Gardner was not only told she was "out of order," but her request was denied. 

Westlake Mayor Dan Cupit believes the motivation for the discussion is political. Cupit said the audit has been public record since January and is available for anyone to read. Cupit said the issue won't be discussed until after the November elections.

In the audit are 12 findings, some of them center around the inadequacies discovered by a legislative audit report last year. Councilman John Cradure said it's because of that report meeting agendas have been solely up to the mayor's discretion, which according to Westlake's city attorney is legal.

"Since the recent findings, items have been pulled off the agenda. Our rights as council to put items on the agenda have been pulled off, and tonight even the citizens of Westlake, taxpayers, their items they want on the agenda were denied," said Cradure.

With the loss of millions of casino money, gas revenue down, and alleged misspending - Cradure said he and others on the council are concerned about Westlake's financial stability.

"There are rumors of payroll not being able to be met. There are rumors of us not being able to make our bond payments. So what I'm trying to do is to get that talked about publicly and get it out on the table. Let us discuss this as a council. We want to know what we can do to fix it. But if they do not reveal that information to us there is nothing we can do to help. That's a real concern," said Cradure.

All of Westlake's City Council is up for re-election. Westlake will have a new Mayor because Cupit has decided not to run for a third term.

To read the full financial audit, go HERE.

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