Misuse of City Funds

Feb 3, 2008

To Ed Babbitt

Mayor of Bellevue

Mayor Babbitt, I am handing you this letter in person so I know you received it, will read it, and act upon it before I e-mail this letter to all the media and selected elected officials within a few days from now.

I’ve known about the misuse of city funds for over 7 months. I purposefully waited hoping that an elected official would take appropriate action. It’s time for Gary Troutman, City Administrator, John Collins, City Finance Director and Treasurer and Chris Shewchuk, City Planner to immediately resign.

In Jan 2007, Mr. Shewchuk was issued a check from city funds for his personal school tuition. A city employee in finance refused to process the check without proper written authorization, knowing it was misuse of city funds. Mr. Collins then went up to Mr. Troutman’s office to discuss this situation. Mr. Collins then came back to Finance Dept and said that if the employee didn’t process the check, she would be written up for insubordination.

These three men are stewards of our tax dollars and if Mr. Shewchuk ($68,000 salary), Mr. Collins ($90,000 salary) and Mr. Troutman ($105,000 salary) will misappropriate $754, who’s to say that it hasn’t happened in the past, is not currently happening, or could not happen in the future for a much larger sum of money. We can not have people in appointed positions who knowingly misuse our city funds for whatever reason or for whatever amount.

Mayor Babbitt, I suggest our city attorney, Mr. Sullivan, or an outside attorney depose the appropriate city employees to verify this incident ASAP. If this isn’t done soon, I’m sure a Bellevue citizen will have an attorney depose these individuals with a probable lawsuit to follow. If any elected official knew of this misuse of funds and did nothing about it, they might want to consider resigning. As you know the city finance situation is very precarious now and we need to have competent people of integrity to steer us out of our financial mess.

Chuck Fredrick

Former city councilman and former mayoral candidate

CC: To All Media

Lee Polikov- Sarpy County Attorney

John Bruning- Nebraska State Attorney

Abbie Cornett- Nebraska State Senator

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