On Tuesday, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is scheduled to hear an arbitration case about a problem that practically everyone but Madison County Treasurer Kurt Prenzler wanted swept under the rug.
It involves questionable county bond transactions pre-Prenzler that were handled by a Little Rock, Ark., broker. The purchases violated the county’s investment policy, and they resulted in excessive commissions. In 2010, for example, the county paid $473,302 in commissions, according to a legal brief – an amount far beyond what a big investor like the county normally would pay.
Amazingly, the County Board wanted no part in pursuing this case. Was there something to hide? State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons refused to let the case be handled on a contingency basis. If Prenzler hadn’t paid the legal fees out of his office budget, the whole matter would have been dropped and those huge commissions would have stayed secret.
Thanks to Prenzler, the county has a chance to get its money back. Stay tuned.