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ECUA CLARIFIES RECYCLING MANAGER SCANDAL; GIVES UPDATE ON DISTRICT THREE BOARD APPOINTMENT, HIRING NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AND SANTA ROSA RECYCLING

Andrew McKay  11/13/19

Responding to the story first published by RicksBlog about the financial mismanagement scandal allegedly involving former Recycling Facility Manager, Jarrell Lamar Reynolds, ECUA Executive Director Steve Sorrell says the reason they didn’t tell anyone about this was because the investigator at the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and then the State Attorney’s Office forbade them to do so.  Reynolds had been hired in September 2018 to run the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Beulah, and by the beginning of 2019, Sorrell says he noticed financial irregularities with recycling, prompting him to immediately order a secret internal audit.  Almost as quickly, “(Reynolds) “disappeared.  He just turned in everything and took off.  He didn’t tell us anything.  So he knew he was caught.”

According to Sorrell, Reynolds left his employment because he had been selling materials to a dummy shell company and then reselling them to end purchasers without returning any of the funds to ECUA.  Sorrell says he immediately got in touch with law enforcement, and at that point the criminal investigation was under a gag order until just last week when the arrest was made by the US Marshals in Atlanta.  In order to prevent this from ever happening again, the CPA who handled the audit has been empowered to “analyze every single expense and every single revenue that comes into that Facility to make sure that we get are getting paid properly.”  Sorrell also separated operations from finance so that one is monitoring the other as an additional check.

As for pursing restitution from Reynolds, Sorrell says, “We’re gonna seriously pursue justice, but I’m sure the State Attorney’s Office will do that for us also….I know the investigator has looked at all of his assets and he’s looked at his companies and various other things, and to be honest with you the guy’s in big trouble.”

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SEARCH:  Since tomorrow is Sorrell’s last day, a temporary solution is that the Board has entered into a temporary agreement wit former Engineering Director, Bill Johnson.  A national search is underway, and Sorrell predicts a new Executive Director should be in place around February.

DISTRICT THREE:  It’s been ten months since the death of District Three Board Member Dr. Elvin McCorvey, and Sorrell expressed his frustration with not knowing any more about where the process of replacing him stands than anyone else does.  I’ve personally contacted the Governor’s Office numerous times and even started a Change.org petition…with zero effect.
Petition here:  http://chng.it/9Q5c4WV4H9

SANTA ROSA RECYCLING:  After months of uncertainty, it looks like Santa Rosa County may finally be on track to resume recycling services this December.  The contracts have all been signed by ECUA, and the only thing pending is the commencement of the contract with the hauler to bring the materials from Santa Rosa County to the MRF in Beulah.

Listen to full interview here:
http://podcast.newsradio1620.com/post/6109/Steve_Sorrell_-_Executive_Director_of_the_ECUA.html

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