Louisville Metro Councilwoman Attica Woodson Scott, D-1, is withholding discretionary funds to community groups while awaiting results of a financial audit.
The 39-year-old community organizer was appointed to replace former Councilwoman Judy Green, who was expelled from office due to ethical violations in connection to discretionary spending involving outside groups.
In October, Scott asked the city auditor for a financial review of the District 1 payroll, office expenditures and discretionary funds during her predecessor’s tenure.
Scott says she wanted to come in with a clean slate and meet with neighborhood groups and other non-profit organizations before appropriating them taxpayer dollars.
“I wanted to wait until after the first of the year to begin accepting applications for funding because I felt like me coming in new I really didn’t know many of the organizations that I needed to get to know them for taking applications for funding. I wanted to build relationships instead, really look at programs and make sure they had a public purpose and benefit,” she says.
The audit found no problems in tracking payroll or office procurement in District 1 over the past year and a half, but identified a lack of monitoring and oversight in the neighborhood development fund. During the ethics controversy one of the charges that expelled Green from office was her circumventing council rules by rerouting those funds through a local organization.
Scott says organizations in the district have a need and expectation for funding, but that non-profit groups have been cooperative with her plan given the scandal during her predecessor’s term.
“People completely understood what I was walking into and the fact that I need to get my feet under me before being able to make decisions like that with the funds. And they completely understood that I wanted to build relationships before making decisions on how to financially support different groups within the district,” she says.
The internal auditor’s office is currently performing a review the entire council’s discretionary spending to determine if grant funds were used as intended and in accordance with city regulations.