Some claim ‘taxpayer money not accounted for’ in Englewood Environmental Foundation

Englewood Herald: An Englewood resident stood at the lectern and delivered an address that won applause from some in the audience, asking the question:

“Millions of dollars of taxpayer money are not accounted for. Why?” said Chris Duis, addressing the Englewood City Council at its meeting Aug. 20.

Duis voiced support for a forensic audit of the Englewood Environmental Foundation and Englewood McLellan Reservoir Foundation, two nonprofit corporations that are separate from the city but run by high-level city employees. Known as EEF and EMRF, the city created them in the late 1990s to oversee property the city has indirect influence over, including the Englewood Civic Center and the surrounding CityCenter Englewood shopping development under EEF.

Following months of scrutiny over claims of various kinds of past financial improprieties — like allegedly giving work to friends — city staff recommended in early November that the council look into the claims against EEF with an audit.

“The truth will come out, as it always does,” Duis said in August.

But a look into EEF’s history presents a more nuanced story, and whether alleged mismanagement occurred isn’t clear from what’s publicly known about the organization that has dominated recent political attention in Englewood.

JJ Margiotta, a local business owner and perhaps the loudest resident engaged in criticizing EEF, has claimed the public has been “kept in the dark for many years.”

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