December 14, 2012

Auditor: Finances troubled before Old Orchard manager hired

Details of improper bookkeeping emerge at a meeting to discuss Mark Pearson's job performance.

By Gillian Graham
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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The council chambers were jammed with people for Wednesday night's special meeting where the council was voting on whether to enter executive session to review town manager Mark Pearson's contract.

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

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Mark Pearson

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer

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He said the audit has shown no wrongdoing by Pearson, who "has been nothing but forthcoming."

"We believe the management is part of the solution," Smith told town councilors. "I think a lot of the practices didn't happen overnight."

Pearson, Old Orchard Beach's fourth town manager since 2003, said he has implemented financial controls since February and will continue to do so.

He said he has found that department heads with different revenue sources didn't always turn in paperwork monthly. And an envelope containing a check and cash, apparently lost for much of a year, was found recently, he said Wednesday.

Pearson took steps to review the fiscal 2012-13 tax commitment for accuracy, in response to auditors' concerns.

He did not return phone calls Thursday seeking additional comment about financial controls he has implemented.

Town Councilor Robin Dayton, who supports Pearson and frequently pushes for additional financial oversight, criticized councilors for judging Pearson before the audit is complete.

Dayton and Smith said the council must give the auditors time to finish their review.

"You want to get rid of this man who put the controls in place?" Dayton asked the council. "We need to move forward, not backward."


Staff Writer Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

Twitter: grahamgillian


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Council Chairwoman Sharri MacDonald

Gregory Rec / Staff Photographer


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