Wednesday, October 31 2012 9:55 AM EDT2012-10-31 13:55:41 GMT
In an ongoing investigation of the Kansas City, MO, Water Services Department, KCTV5 uncovered a brand new billing problem. Just as the water department promised to create better customer service, residentsMore >
In an ongoing investigation of the Kansas City, MO, Water Services Department, KCTV5 uncovered a brand new billing problem. More >
Thursday, October 11 2012 11:00 AM EDT2012-10-11 15:00:34 GMT
A recent investigation into the Kansas City, MO, Water Services Department exposed how the city decided to tackle unpaid water bills and poor customer service by spending more money. A July investigationMore >
A recent investigation into the Kansas City, MO, Water Services Department exposed how the city decided to tackle unpaid water bills and poor customer service by spending more money.More >
Sunday, August 12 2012 12:06 PM EDT2012-08-12 16:06:22 GMT
A lack of money is something the Kansas City Water Services Department has been lamenting for years. To help offset the costs of a crumbling infrastructure and an ensuing flood of water main breaks, theMore >
A KCTV5 investigation uncovered millions of dollars in untapped revenue; money that could be used to help fix the metro's water woes. Discovered among the 12,000 names on the Kansas City Missouri Water Services Department's list of delinquent bills obtained in late May, some unexpected customers.More >
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
The state of Missouri's top auditor is discussing a possible review of the Kansas City, MO, Water Services Department after four stories from the KCTV5 Investigations' team exposed major discrepancies.
The stories exposed the millions of dollars in overdue accounts, pricey public relations hires and bills sent to properties without any pipes.
Now, one of Missouri's top investigators hopes his boss, the governor, will let him examine the water department's books.
"You've exposed something that's pretty serious here and it does need a fresh set of eyes, there's no doubt about it," said Missouri State Auditor Tom Schweich.
Schweich has watched nearly a year's worth of KCTV5 Investigations into the KCMO Water Services Department.
In July 2012, the investigations team revealed a list of $13 million in unpaid bills. At that time, it included some prominent names, like sports complexes as well as federal, state and county governments. None were being pursued for nonpayment.
"Obviously there is a situation of over $13 million in uncollected bills. There appears to be a selectivity in people they are going after to collect the bills - the least able to afford being sued and those able to pay being able to get by. It's very problematic," Schweich said.
The KCMO Water Services Department hired new staff after the story ran to try and go after those who do not pay but, nearly 10 months later, very little has changed.
A May 2013 open records request shows even more customers owe the agency money. The total amount has dropped by $500,000, but the delinquent accounts include many of the same names.
The legal department has taken action against a few more customers – individuals and private businesses only.
"I'd be happy to go in there and do an audit if we get one of the criteria to give me jurisdiction to do it," Schweich said.
Schweich said his hands are tied at the moment. He hopes Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will grant him the authority to go in and look into KCMO Water Services' books.
"If you look at the audits I've done in the last two years it's trying to uncover exactly that kind of government waste," the auditor said.
The governor's office said it's thinking over the auditor's request. The city's spokesman said in a written statement, "We will hold comment until an audit is authorized as per the law."
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
Missouri state auditor to possibly review Water Services DepartmentMore>>
Tuesday, February 26 2013 11:15 PM EST2013-02-27 04:15:09 GMT
A steady stream of questions from the KCTV5 News investigative team appears to have spurred on a major policy change by the Kansas City, MO, Water Services Department that could finally stop the flow ofMore >
For the past seven months, the KCTV5 News investigative team has exposed one problem after another inside the Kansas City, MO Water Services Department. The reports uncovered millions of dollars in unpaid bills; revealed how taxpayer dollars were being used to pay for pricey public relations personnel; discovered customers without pipes still being billed thousands of dollars. The latest story sparked a big change that could mean money saved for one out of every eight customers.More >