Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Brevard Clerk of Court Won't Do EDC Audit That Commissioner Infantini Wants

VIERA, Florida -- Brevard County Clerk of Court Scott Ellis told Brevard Times that his office would not undertake one of the audits of the Economic Development Commission of Florida's Space Coast as suggested by Brevard County Commissioner Trudie Infantini during yesterday's County Commission meeting.

"I believe what Trudie was looking at were performance and compliance audits.  We could do compliance, you need an outside entity to evaluate performances," Ellis said.  "One major issue is the EDC insistence on 'confidentiality' agreements locking down all inspection of files for two years, this is a contradiction to the County's ability to audit and the public's ability to see where their money is being spent."

The EDC is an outside, private non-profit corporation that contracts with the County to promote economic development in Brevard.   The County pays the EDC around $1.4 million per year under the contract.

Recently, the Lee County Economic Development Office's Marketing Director, Jennifer Berg, resigned in May during an audit conducted by the Lee County Clerk of Court that was just finalized in August that alleges possible conflicts of interests in awarding contracts.

As a side note of interest to Brevard County readers:  In the following NBC Southwest Florida affiliate video taken in 2011, Berg explains why Gannett, the parent company of FLORIDA TODAY, received over $100,000 in taxpayer incentives to bring jobs to Florida while at the same time it was laying off Florida employees in other divisions: