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Pontiac says audit found former mayor's dysfunction cost taxpayers $1.6 million

Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 09, 2022

PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — Pontiac’s new leaders called for a forensic audit of spending in recent years and the results are eyeopening.

The resulting report found evidence of misspending and raised questions about whether laws were broken by Former Mayor Deidre Waterman.

Certified fraud examiners with Marsh Minick Financial Crime Reporting Services write citywide dysfunction in Pontiac cost taxpayers $1,627,361.81 under the leadership of former Mayor Deidre Waterman.

“It’s a horrible shame because we have a lot of pressing needs here in the city,” said Tim Greimel, Current Mayor of Pontiac.

Greimel says he believes law enforcement should investigate after seeing the report.

The report says the former mayor didn’t follow city code when spending money, ignoring the powers of City Council.

For example, City Council voted not to spend money on a second State of the City Address. Still, Waterman allegedly spent more than $50,000 on one as she left office. She also spent more than $11,00 in city funds on a farewell party for which the city paid for a red carpet, singer, and custom banner celebrating the mayor.

“This was really wasteful in that it really just served her own ego,” said Mayor Greimel.

The report also says Waterman traveled extravagantly, attending a Conference of Mayors in Hawaii, then scheduling a four-day layover after it in Los Angeles that allegedly did not appear to be for city business.

She allegedly took a $1879 weekend trip to New York where receipts show she bought a breakfast of eggs and fruit for $144 on room service in her luxury suite.

7 Action News asked Former Mayor Waterman on the phone if she could share any city business done on that trip. She said she could provide a statement, but not answer questions.

“I feel vindicated by the report of the auditors even though they said their research was limited because 11 people refused to participate in what they felt was an intentional smear campaign,” the statement says.

The statement describes economic development in Pontiac during her time in office.

"I always did the right thing for Pontiac and shouldn't be persecuted at the personal political whim of Tim Greimel."

The statement says she has figures that contradict with the audit.

The audit also accused the former mayor of potentially taking city records against city code. It provided pictures of the former mayor next to a U-Haul outside Pontiac City Hall that appears to be loaded with records.

The Pontiac City Council is considering sending the audit to law enforcement for further review.