Flo in HOT Water Again

On Sunday morning, September 30 2018, in response to a motion alarm at the Flo Community Water Supply Co, Office Manager Lela Patterson arrived on site to find Mike Meade, Board President and Mike Wheeler, Board Vice President in the back parking lot. When questioned, Mr. Meade stated that Patterson was ?suspended, with pay, due to suspicious charges that have been uncovered by Doris Pittman, Director of Flo Water.?

In a public special board meeting held Thursday, October 4, 2018 the Board of Directors, Flo contract attorney Patricia Coy, Mrs. Patterson and several of her supporters gathered. The board opened stating that each individual who registered and wished to speak would have 3 minutes. Most participants waived their allotted minutes giving their time to Mrs. Patterson allowing her 15 minutes to state her case, beginning with ?these allegations are false?.

Sherry Matney, a former President of a bank stated, ?I?m here to support Lela. I?ve dealt with money for years. Money always has a paper trail. Follow it.?

Judy Blanchard stated that she has, ?known Lela for 10 years and has the highest regard for her.?

Jo Ann Thompson asked what the allegations were. The Board stated, ?that they were not at liberty to answer.?

Former Board Member, Karen Jackson-Capio stated, ?I?ve experienced the board?s position. It?s not easy. Lela took over in a tough situation, a virtual hornets nest, and has turned this company around.?

Former Board Member and Secretary Treasurer Barbara Johnson stated, ?I can?t imagine what Lela could have done to evoke this action by the board. Prior to Lela?s taking over the position as Office / Business Manager the independent audit reports by Robert Gaines, PC of Alton Thiele of Belton, Tx were not exemplary. Due to her diligence, the audit reports are now exemplary.?

When Mrs. Patterson was given the floor, she expressed that she has enjoyed her position with the company for the past 5 and a half years and the personal and professional relationships that have evolved with staff members and working with the general public and members. Further, Mrs. Patterson stated, ?the charges on the statements in question are pre-approved by the board, viewed by and approved by the board during the monthly meeting. To date, the reports have been approved (by the Board of Directors) with no opposition on a monthly basis.? In closing, Mrs. Patterson stated, ?All I ask as you go forward with these proceedings today is to be diligent, looking at the facts at hand and the statements in front of you, as they all link together.?

The Board called an Executive order, behind closed doors to discuss the matter further. Upon calling the public meeting back in session, the board announced that their decision was to hire an independent auditor, which was motioned and seconded immediately. The second motion was to suspend Mrs. Patterson, with pay, until the end of the audit. A silence fell upon the room. The motion was made again. Again, silence. Finally, someone motioned, and later, a second.

When asked what the charges were against Mrs. Patterson, the board again refused comment other than to state there were, ?no formal charges, but that there was suspicious charges on a company credit card.?