Taxpayers in East St. Louis Township paid thousands of dollars for annual mandatory audits that never revealed an estimated $280,000 in alleged unauthorized charges on township-issued credit cards. Township Supervisor Oliver Hamilton and two others are under federal investigation. They are accused of purchasing personal trips and other items without the township board's approval.
Bob Kibble, co-founder of Munetrix, which offers online finance-tracking programs for municipal agencies, said auditing reports are commonly limited by clients.
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Kibble said East St. Louis could adopt a new approach focused on transparency. Board records show that trustees routinely approved credit-card expenditures without discussion, even though every one of the monthly credit-card totals exceeded the $1,000 cap set by the board in 2012.