Is the Rio Nuevo Board Lying About Paperwork?

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Our sister paper, Inside Tucson Business, has an interesting story this week about the Rio Nuevo Board and their seemingly neverending quest for financial paperwork to decipher exactly how much money they have. While Jodi Bain and the rest of the board seem to keep passing the blame to everyone else, Wells Fargo and the City of Tucson contend that they've handed over everything. So...who's telling the truth?

Those claims, however, directly contradict what City of Tucson and Wells Fargo officials have told Inside Tucson Business.

Wells Fargo officials did not want to speak on the record for this story, but did provide a written statement explaining what records they have given the district.

"A disk containing a copy of the monthly statements - from inception - for each of the trust accounts maintained by the trustee under the various bonds issued by the District was sent to Ms. Bain at her business address, the offices of Munger Chadwick, where she works as an attorney. The disc was delivered on or about October 5, 2011," wrote Alan Elias, senior vice president and head of wholesale banking communications for Wells Fargo Bank.

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City of Tucson Finance Director and Assistant City Manager Kelly Gottschalk also disputes claims that Rio Nuevo doesn't have the information.

"The city has produced every request that they've asked for," Gottschalk said. "Often times, the same information over and over."

Gottschalk said city finance officials have given computer discs with Wells Fargo and other account information to Bain and uploaded the same information using a secure file exchange on the website of an accounting firm the Rio Nuevo district hired.

"We've offered to sit down and explain the information to them, they've not taken up the offer," Gottschalk said.

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