Englewood City Council debates path amid claims about foundation corruption

Englewood Herald: Months of scrutiny over claims of various kinds of financial malfeasance in the City of Englewood — over a nonprofit body that’s private but run by city officials — have come to a head, with city staff advocating for looking into the claims.

“To be frank, some of the charges of embezzlement, corruption and illegal contracts we’ve heard are damaging to the reputation of the city,” said Dorothy Hargrove, Englewood’s interim city manager, at an Englewood City Council study session Nov. 13.

The city must take action, Hargrove said, “to clear Englewood’s good name.”

The council has seen repeated citizen accusations surrounding the Englewood Environmental Foundation and Englewood McLellan Reservoir Foundation — nonprofits commonly known as “EEF” and “EMRF” — that oversee property that the city has varying degrees of control over. EMRF has faced scrutiny, too, but the council considered changes to EEF specifically at the study-session meeting. The concerns center around alleged actions of past city officials.

City staff recommended the organization undergo a forensic audit that could examine mismanagement or alleged criminal behavior. Another option would be a performance audit, which evaluates the effectiveness of how an organization runs. The council could seek an audit for both forensic and performance matters, according to Hargrove.

Claims surrounding the two nonprofits abounded during the Sept. 18 election that sought to recall from office Councilmember Laurett Barrentine, who pushed for a forensic audit early this year, she said.

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