Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: May 22, 2013
Contact: Councilmember Charlie Winburn, (513) 884-7832

WINBURN DEMANDS THAT CITY MANAGER MILTON DOHONEY IMMEDIATELY FREEZE ALL US BANK VISA CREDIT CARDS SLUSH FUND ACCOUNTS ISSUED TO 145 CITY OF CINCINNATI EMPLOYEES IN LIGHT OF THE CITY’S $35 MILLION BUDGET DEFICIT

145 City of Cincinnati employees have a cumulative credit limit or line of credit totaling $2.1 million to spend at taxpayer expense

Cincinnati, OH -- Cincinnati City Councilmember Charlie Winburn has discovered that the city manager has authorized approximately 145 credit cards to cityemployees.

Since 2008, approximately 145 city employees have racked up approximately $6 million in credit card expenditures adding to the city deficit. Listed below is the total amount of tax payer dollars used to pay down annual credit card expenses:

Year Amount % Increase Outcome
2008 $87,412.44    
2009 $616,768.52 605.58% Increase
2010 $1,043,250.68 69.15% Increase
2011 $1,591,779.00 52.58% Increase
2012 $1,884,092.33 18.36%

Increase *(i.e. these kinds of funds could possiblykeep 40 police officers on the streets)

2013 $686,228.17    
  $5,909,531.14   Grand total of credit card expenditures bycity employees since 2008

In light of the city’s $35 million budget deficit, the imminent layoffs of police officers, fire fighters and sanitation workers, Cincinnati City Councilmember Charlie Winburn urges the city council to direct the city manager to immediately freeze all credit card expenditures for all 145 city employees and makes the following recommendations:

City Council direct the city manager to immediately surrender all 145 city credit cards;

City Council to direct the city manager to require all 145 city credit cards to be turned in to his office by 5:00 P.M. on Wednesday, May 22, 2013;

City Council to pass an emergency ordinance to limit the number of credit cards and line of credit/credit limit that the city manager can have at any time. In other words, require the city manager to reduce the number of credit cards from 145 to approximately 18 credit cards. All city departments and/or divisions would only be entitled to 1 credit card;

City Council to direct the city manager to use all funds set aside for credit card payments, after all monthly bills are paid and the remainder of funds to be used for keeping police, fire fighters and sanitation workers on the job, effective immediately; and

City Council to request a special audit by the Ohio Auditor of State on the 145 city credit card accounts from 2002 to 2013 for the purpose of determining all expenditures were made for a proper purpose.
“Since the City of Cincinnati is facing a $35 million budget deficit, it is fiscally irresponsible to authorize 145 city employees to run up credit card debt at the tax payer expense,” says Winburn.

Listed below is an example of some names of individuals and their ghost card/credit card limits or lines of credit:

Bobby Hageman $50,000
Ellie Topham $30,000
Arin Napier $25,000
Brodie Getz $25,000
Larry Falkin $25,000
Lisa Hancock $25,000
Charles Grimes $25,000
Noble Maseru $25,000
Dorthea Hudson $20,000
Cynthia Ross $15,000
Margo Spring $15,000

See PowerPoint presentation.

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