Council Members Request Audit of NES Spending
By Phil Williams
Chief Investigative Reporter
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Several Metro Council members are asking for an audit of how Nashville Electric Service spend your money.
They told NewsChannel 5 Investigates that people are fed up -- and they want answers.
This all follows a NewsChannel 5 investigation that caught top NES brass wining and dining -- and sticking ratepayers with the bill.
The request for the audit is being led by Councilman Phil Claiborne. He said his constituents don't understand why NES hasn't been tightening its belt -- just like the rest of us.
"Several people have either emailed or called," Claiborne added. "In fact, I got an email this morning that said, 'I can't understand how the Council can let NES do what they are doing."
What they were doing, our investigation discovered, was using ratepayer money for expensive hotel rooms, fancy dinners, even alcohol. For example, there was a dinner at a Toronto restaurant where the total cost -- $1,400 -- included a $372 bar tab.
"So why should you and the board be drinking at ratepayers' expense?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked NES President Decosta Jenkins.
"We shouldn't," he admitted.
Jenkins even charged ratepayers for his hotel movies.
"There is just that level of frustration that says somebody needs to do something -- are you going to do it?" Claiborne added.
So the Council member is sending a letter to Metro's internal audit committee, asking them to audit how the NES board and management document travel and other expenditures, how NES keeps track of credit card charges, what kind of limits it places on travel expenses, as well as whether the NES internal auditor can monitor spending by the board and management when she reports to them.
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