Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Grand Jury Report Criticizes City of Fresno Over Granite Park Development

Grand Jury Report Criticizes City of Fresno Over Granite Park Development

Posted: March 9, 2010 11:36 AM
No Bidders at Granite Park Auction
Developer Speaks–Out after Granite Park Raid
Search Warrant Served On Granite Park

A new Fresno County Grand Jury report is criticizing the City of Fresno for how it handled the failed Granite Park Development.

The report, which was released on Tuesday, says the city "failed to perform appropriate diligence" when reviewing the project.

It says this failure has exposed the city to the possible loss of $5 million in General Funds.

In it's findings, the Grand Jury claims the city did not require the developer, The Zone Sports Center, LLC and Granite Park Kids Foundation, to produce a business plan.

It also claims the City Council should have demanded background and financial information on the project prior to voting. According to Fresno City Code adopted back in 1985, anyone asking for financial assistance from the city, must make this information available to the Council.

City officials interviewed about this lack of follow through told the Grand Jury they were unaware of the requirements.

Other "red flags" not looked into by the city include the "developers lack of experience, prior failure to develop site, inability to obtain private financing without a guarantor and existing liens on the property."

The report also notes that no project manager was ever designated for the project by the city.

While investigating the issue, the Grand Jury also learned the city destroyed audio and video recordings from the council meeting in question-which occurred more than four years ago.

In it's recommendations, the report recommended the City comply with all City Code, that it employ due diligence to similar requests, that it retain videos and audio recording of all meeting indefinitely and provide ethics training for all employees.


No comments: