Fischer Waiting for Auditor’s Report Before Passing Judgement on MSD

by Gabe Bullard on October 10, 2011

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is waiting until a state auditor’s review of the Metropolitan Sewer District is complete before making any judgements on a new controversy in the agency.

MSD Executive Director Bud Schardein is set to receive a $200,000 bonus from a hidden trust fund. MSD officials say the compensation is standard to retain directors, but critics say it’s unusual for public officials to receive such hefty payouts.

Some Metro Council members have called for increased oversight and accountability of the MSD board, which is appointed by the mayor.

“I think it’s continuing to have the board recognize they’ve got a darn responsibility. They have a responsibility to the ratepayers and it’s not a club anymore,” says Councilman Kelly Downard, R-16.

But any changes will likely have to wait until the review Fischer asked State Auditor Crit Luallen to conduct is complete.

“The mayor doesn’t want to draw any conclusions before he sees that audit,” says Fischer spokesman Chris Poynter. “So we’re waiting on those results.”

Fischer has called for the resignation of MSD board members over prior spending scandals and conflicts of interest.

MSD is a quasi-governmental agency. The mayor’s only direct oversight is appointing MSD board members and officials, whom the Metro Council approve.

“I think that the system is working,” says Councilwoman Tina Ward-Pugh, D-9, who chairs the Government Accountability Committee. “I think what we’re finding is perhaps maybe the mayor or the administration—or not—is at odds with what the board thinks needs to be happening at MSD.”

Luallen’s report is expected before the end of the year.

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