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Commentary, sarcasm and snide remarks from a Florida resident of over thirty years. Being a glutton for punishment is a requirement for residency here. Who am I? I've been called a moonbat by Michelle Malkin, a Right Wing Nut by Daily Kos, and middle of the road by Florida blog State of Sunshine. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

The Knucklehead of the Day award

Goes to Carole Ketterhagen Executive Director of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau or CVB for short. A recent audit showed CVA overpaid an ad agency $330,000 over a three year period.

Does Ms. Ketterhagen admit a mistake? Will the CVA try to recover the money? Want to take a guess at the answer to those questions? The answer is no to both. No Ketterhagen says the CVB disagrees with the audit and won't try to recover taxpayer money.

For thinking taxpayer money is monopoly money, Carole Ketterhagen is today's Knucklehead of the day.

Open Post- Jo's Cafe, Stop the ACLU, Basil's Blog and Political Teen

CLEARWATER - -- Pinellas County's tourism department overpaid an advertising agency nearly a half-million dollars that it has no intention of recovering, a critical county audit released Friday said.

The St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention & Visitors Bureau overpaid FKQ Advertising & Marketing about $330,000 between 2002 and 2004 because a service fee paid to the agency was calculated improperly, according to the 24-page audit report released on Friday.

"They included a 15 percent service fee in the base, then calculated the 15 percent service fee" on top of it, said Robert Melton, the chief internal auditor for Pinellas Circuit Court Clerk Ken Burke. "So they were getting paid a service fee on the service fee."

An additional $150,000 was paid to the Clearwater ad agency for services that were ordered and done by CVB staff -- not FKQ, the audit states.

The agency also took $5,039 in cash discounts in remitting invoices, but credit was not passed back to the CVB, according to the audit.

Melton attributed the overpayments to sloppy internal controls rather than fraud.

"My understanding is they're not going to try to recover this money," he said.

Carole Ketterhagen, CVB's executive director, said she does not think her department is owed any money by FKQ. County attorneys said it is unlikely Pinellas will ask for money back.
The ad agency's invoices, Ketterhagen said, were paid by the clerk's finance division "as stipulated in the contract." CVB pays the finance division $70,000 annually to provide financial services, she said.

CVB's current contract with another ad agency it hired has been tightened, Ketterhagen said.

"I certainly regret and apologize that this unfortunate situation has arisen," Ketterhagen said in a written statement. "However, we at the Convention & Visitors Bureau work very diligently to ensure that all Tourist Development Tax proceeds are spent legally and economically, and we do not agree with most of the items as presented in the audit."

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