Audit of former Pontiac mayor’s alleged misspending heads to feds

Forensic audit done by outside firm said $1.6 million was misused under the direction of ex-mayor

The City of Pontiac has voted to send the results of a damaging audit to the feds. That audit found former Mayor Deirdre Waterman misused more than $1.6 million in tax dollars, accusations she firmly denies.

PONTIAC, Mich. – The City of Pontiac has voted to send the results of a damaging audit to the feds.

That audit found former Mayor Deirdre Waterman misused more than $1.6 million in tax dollars, accusations she firmly denies.

Waterman feels the situation is dirty politics, and what it is is an outside forensic audit that was limited in scope done by an outside firm. The results of which, at best, suggest poor management and fraud at worst.

“Facts is facts (and) truth is truth,” said Pastor Rodney Tolbert. “You can’t get around it. It doesn’t make a difference who did it, but it does make a difference that people in this city has allowed my resident at Liberty Missionary Baptist Church to pay taxes that’s been misappropriated, misused, miss-funded, and whatever word that you want to use. It’s wrong.”

The forensic audit done by the outside firm said $1.6 million in taxpayer dollars was misused under the direction of Waterman.

Tuesday night, Pontiac’s city council voted unanimously to send the findings to federal prosecutors.

“It’s a lot of people who are dragging along, and some of them ain’t who you think it is,” said Gloria Miller. “There are some pastors in it, some residents in it, some people around here who is in it, and I know who they are I just want the forensic audit to speak for itself.”

Among the findings, Waterman oversaw highly questionable contracts or no contract deals, used city funds for her own expenses, and hired people on the city dime to do personal work for her.

Waterman attended Tuesday (Aug. 9) night’s council meeting and said the accusations are part of a political smear campaign and denied any wrongdoing.

“The forensic auditor’s calculations of their major findings disagreed with the numbers I relied upon from key senior finance department executives, Plante Moran, the city’s long-term accounting firm, and the city’s attorneys Giarmarco Mullins, and Horton,” said Waterman. “All of whom have been suspiciously fired or let go by the mayor in the last few weeks without ready replacements to perform these important task for the city.”

It was a unanimous vote by the city council to send the findings to the feds. There was also a unanimous vote for them to hire attorneys.


About the Authors:

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.