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City officials face questions after Cayman Islands account mention

By Sam Penrod | Posted - Feb 27th, 2013 @ 9:57am



EAGLE MOUNTAIN — Eagle Mountain city officials are facing questions and concerns from residents about an offshore bank account containing $2.5 million.

A published report in the Daily Herald about the account in the Cayman Islands stirred up controversy as residents began to question their leaders' financial decisions, especially with the city's utility bills.

City officials publicly addressed the concerns on Tuesday and assured residents that the bank account is not secretive, but that it is simply an internal book keeping transfer. The city account in the Cayman Islands is through Zions Bank and officials said the city's money never actually leaves Utah.

"This type of account is very, very common," City Administator Ifo Pili said.

The state treasurer's office confirmed to KSL that offshore bank accounts are used by many municipalities in the state.

However, tensions are high in Eagle Mountain and a group of citizens believe taxpayer money is not being spent prudently.

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"We spend a lot of money for a town that only has one stoplight," resident Sam Allen said.

Allen and a group of residents prompted a five hour meeting with city officials to discuss the city's finances. Allen is pushing the county attorney and the state attorney general's office to investigate the allegations of financial mismanagement, and he may run for office himself.

"We recognize in the long haul the only way to fix the problems in the city is to elect new officials and we are organizing to do that," Allen said.

City leaders insist they are being responsive to citizen concerns and that they are working to be more open about the city's business.

"We certainly have got a lot of feedback about things we can improve on," Pili said. "I think throughout this whole ordeal it has actually been a good thing for the city. We have learned a lot. We have learned we need to be more communicative with our residents."

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