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Somerville aldermen to push for transparency in nonprofits

Posted by Marcia Dick  November 8, 2012 09:59 AM

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In the wake of an audit that found credit card misuse at a city-funded nonprofit, aldermen in Somerville want to know what they can do to force transparency in such organizations.

The request comes days after details of an audit of the Community Action Agency of Somerville became public in a Globe story. The audit found the agency's former executive director, Kimberly Smith-Cofield, allegedly used an agency credit card for personal purposes more than 100 times. She resigned in June as the audit was being finalized.

During their meeting Thursday night, aldermen are expected to debate a pending measure that would require nonprofits that receive city funding to abide by the city's conflict-of-interest and ethics rules. The resolution also calls for City Solicitor Frank Wright to advise them on what power they have over nonprofits when it comes to transparency, according to a council agenda.

A second resolution, submitted by board members Rebekah Gewirtz and Maryann Heuston, calls for the aldermen to request a complete accounting of the Community Action Agency's audit. The board will meet at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Jarret Bencks can be reached at jbbencks@gmail.com.

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