Audit questions uses of Detroit's emergency cash

DETROIT – DETROIT (AP) - A city fund intended to cover emergencies was used for expenses that included a publicist hired by ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick during the text-message scandal that drove him from office last year.

Records obtained by the Detroit Free Press under the Freedom of Information Act show the city issued 900 so-called quick checks from the fund to cover routine or questionable expenses.

The newspaper, which also examined an audit of the Finance Department's accounts payable section, says the checks often were issued with incomplete paperwork or none at all.

Norman White was chief financial officer from July 2006 through June 2008, the period covered by the audit. He was rehired in May by Mayor Dave Bing, whose office said White wasn't available to answer specific questions about the quick checks issued during his first stint in office.