Are City Money Managers To Blame For Missing Loot?

CLEVELAND - Investigators continue to sink a lot of time looking for the city of Cleveland's missing millions.

19/43 News' Paul Orlousky did some digging at City Hall, and found out that the people managing the taxpayers' money don't have a whole lot of experience -- a fact that might explain all of the confusion.

Six of nine financial analysts, 10 of 11 senior accountants and all of the budget administrators have been at City Hall for less than two years. As they work in the basement command center, one thing is becoming more and more clear -- a lack of experience in the finance department during the administration of former Mayor Michael White got the city into its current financial mess.

"We have lost a lot of very experienced people in the last five years," acting Finance Director Betsy Hruby said.

Approximately 70 percent of the city's finance employees left during the White years. A staggering 37 percent quit or were fired in the last two years alone.

"This was a swinging door, and this ran throughout the city of Cleveland," city councilwoman Fannie Lewis said.

Lewis was shocked at the turnover numbers that 19/43 News calculated. She placed the blame directly at the feet of White.

"The job didn't get done because the person (responsible for doing it) didn't know how to do it," Lewis said. "People who would not do what (White) wanted done, if push came to shove, he'd usher them out of there."

For new mayor Jane Campbell, the bottom line is simple.

"We've got to know what the city owes, and we've got to pay our bills," Campbell said.

Campbell's staff said that they hope to have answers in about two weeks regarding the $11.8 million that White said he left behind.