Rolando Charvel, an accountant with the Office of the City Comptroller, will be assigned to the Southeastern Economic Development Corp. in an advisory role for an indefinite period of time, mayoral Spokesman Fred Sainz just told me.

Charvel, who is the principal redevelopment accountant at the city, will work at SEDC for two or three days a week and will be assisting the agency on a “technical and financial basis,” Sainz said. He will not be taking over management of the agency’s finances from Finance Director, Dante Dayacap, who has been deeply embroiled in the agency’s bonus scandal, Sainz said.

The appointment of Charvel is one of the steps towards reform of SEDC that the Mayor’s Office has pledged to make in the wake of the firing of the agency’s president Carolyn Y. Smith last month.

The mayor has also pledged to replace eight of the nine members of the SEDC board, including board Chairman Artie M. “Chip” Owen, who has also been at the center of a storm of controversy because of his financial ties to a developer who has done business with SEDC.

Sanders had also hoped to install a senior city redevelopment official at SEDC. But Sainz said he doesn’t think the mayor has the authority to place such an official alongside Smith, who will continue at the agency for several weeks under a severance agreement set by SEDC’s board last month.

The details of that severance package remain a mystery to both the mayor and the general public. Because the agreement was made in a closed session of the SEDC board meeting, details about the severance were not released and Sainz said Owen has refused to provide the mayor with details about the deal, which includes a $100,000 payment to Smith and the requirement that she stays on at the agency for 90 days.

Sainz also said that the auditing firm, Macias & Gini, will present its final audit of SEDC to the first meeting of the City Council’s Audit Committee on Sept. 8, 2008.

The audit was ordered by City Councilman Tony Young in May 2007.


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