Documenter name: Natalie McLendon
Agency holding meeting: Westlake City Council
Date: Monday, January 23, 2023
The council’s legislative audit showed that Westlake was the victim of a hack which cost the city $64,000.
The council approved the minutes from the last meeting on December 19. 2022.
Discussion and Action Items
- The council heard from Coy Vincent from Gragson, Casiday, & Guillory for the financial audit for the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2022. (The full audit report can be found in the agenda packet.) There were no material weaknesses. There were two control deficiencies that were not considered material weaknesses.
- The auditor found that the city’s budgeting procedures were “inadequate,” and revenues were “under budget by 5% or more” in the general fund and actual expenditures were “over budget by 5% or more” in capital projects. The auditor recommended that the city review and amend the budget on an interim basis if needed.
- According to the audit report, the city erroneously paid a fraudulent vendor approximately $64,000 because “the accountant did not verify the email originated from the legitimate vendor before payment was issued.” A hacker allegedly intercepted email communications between the city and a vendor regarding kitchen equipment for the golf course clubhouse. The hacker then set up a similar email address and provided their own banking information for a wire transfer of $64,267.90. The city of Westlake responded that “the matter has been turned over to the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the FBI, and is currently under investigation.”
- Next, the council approved a resolution appointing a Mayor Pro-Tempore for the city of Westlake.
- Marie LeTard was reappointed as city attorney and prosecutor.
- Jay DeLouche was reappointed as city magistrate.
- Douglas Fleming was reappointed as public works director.
- Andrea Mahfouz was reappointed as the city clerk.
- The city approved a resolution authorizing the mayor, mayor pro-tempore, city clerk, and finance director to execute funds on banking and investment accounts.
- Mayor Hal McMillin was authorized to enter into a cooperative endeavor agreement with Horseshoe Casino.
- February’s council meeting was moved to February 27th because of the Mardi Gras holiday.
- The council approved City Clerk Mahfouz to enter into an intergovernmental contract with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality (LDEQ) for the EVSE VW settlement. Because Louisiana’s Volkswagen settlement allowed for 15% of mitigation funding to go towards electric vehicle charging infrastructure, this contract will allow for the construction of electric vehicle charging stations at Horseshoe Casino.
- A beer and liquor license was approved for Pincher’s Boil House, LLC at 920 Sampson Street, Suite B.
- The city’s updated work policy was approved and can be accessed in the agenda packet.
- Anita Conrad was hired as a Westlake police officer with the rank of Captain, and was recommended by Chief Chris Wilrye.
The next meeting is Monday, February 27, 2023.
Who was the hacker?