Highland News Leader

Letter to the Editor: Prenzler vindicated; his critics silenced

Dear Editor,

Madison County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan and Auditor Rick Faccin criticized Treasurer Kurt Prenzler’s investments. Given Prenzler’s recent actions, which recovered $340,000 in an out-of-court settlement with Sterne Agee, one wonders if Dunstan and Faccin’s criticism mislead voters while camouflaging former treasurers Frank Miles and Fred Bathon’s investment activity. A review of facts and figures might prove helpful.

During Chairman Dunstan and Auditor Faccin’s tenures, Mr. Bathon chose to purchase bonds exclusively from one Little Rock, Ark., bond salesman without soliciting bids.

After Chairman Dunstan appointed Frank Miles to finish disgraced Treasurer Bathon’s term, Mr. Miles chose to continue this practice.

Following Mr. Miles loss to reform-minded Prenzler, citizens discovered Miles appeared to purchase $36 million of bonds outside Madison County investment policy. Figures show that during the period of Sept. 13, 2010 to Nov. 10, 2010, sales of bonds generated approximately $283,000 in commissions. Public documents reveal bond switching occurred.

Sterne Agee received $473,302 in commissions during 2010. Commissions appear 12 times higher than normal. Prenzler asserts the same trades would have cost $35,000 under his administration.

Voters might ask: Why did Mr. Miles conduct such sales?

Is it true Mr. Dunstan didn’t support Prenzler’s effort to recover the commissions?

Did Auditor Rick Faccin know of Mile’s bond transactions? He is supposed to audit finances.

Did anyone else profit from these transactions?

Philip W. Chapman