Destin attorneys, outside auditor to examine various city contracts for potential errors.

DESTIN — Based on concerns raised by City Councilman Steven Menchel, the council recently approved having Destin’s attorneys and a third-party auditor examine various city contracts for potential errors.


At the Nov. 18 council meeting, Menchel said he recently found multiple instances of services not being performed by a continuing services contractor that has provided security and fire safety monitoring and maintenance for the city.


Concerned about billing irregularities and other mistakes, Menchel made a motion to have City Manager Lance Johnson ask state Rep. Mel Ponder to request an audit of city contracts and the Destin Finance Department by the state auditor general.


By having the request issued by Ponder rather than city officials, the city would not be charged for the audit, Menchel said.


After further discussion, however, the full council supported Councilman Chatham Morgan’s substitute motion to have City Attorney Kyle Bauman and Destin Land Use Attorney Kimberly Kopp investigate the city’s continuing services contracts, clarify the security/fire safety contract and seek out a third-party auditor to conduct a forensic audit of the various agreements.


Morgan said he is happy with the many city staff members who have replaced former employees during his three and a half years as a councilman.


“I’m confident in and trust the staff we do have now,” Morgan said.


“Everybody is human and everyone makes mistakes,” said Menchel, who added that the errors he recently discovered “could be honest mistakes.”