The suspicions of Coppell’s city manager are confirmed, the late mayor was using a city credit card for personal expenses. 
An investigation by the Coppell city attorney has found more than 63-hundred dollars in personal expenses were charged to the city card in the last seven months of mayor Jayne Peters’ life.  We had previously learned she was in severe financial distress.  The report shows hundreds of dollars in charges for food, gasoline, restaurants and 1,458 dollars for the Avis rental car her daughter thought was a graduation present.
City Manager Clay Phillips says the system for catching improper expenditures worked though his staff will recommend some modifications.  The city had considered putting a lien on Peters’ estate to collect the money but it now appears that won’t be necessary.  An anonymous donor has given the city a 10-thousand dollar check to cover the expenses.

Click here for the full investigation report.

Below is the release from the city of Coppell.

Coppell City Attorney Releases Procurement Card Report

Coppell City Attorney, Robert Hager, has completed his investigation regarding purchases made on a city procurement card by former Mayor Jayne Peters.  The report concludes that $7,827.72 was charged to the card which the City had not received reimbursements or receipts.

Through the investigation, the city attorney was able to reconstruct approximately $1,348.78 in charges as legitimate city expenses falling under the categories of travel, hotel and conference attendance. An additional $125 was determined to be an appropriate expense based on the provision of a receipt and witness statements.

In conclusion:

  • From November 14, 2009 through July 13, 2010, Jayne Peters failed to provide adequate receipts for 68 transactions;
  • From December 2009, through July 2010, Jayne Peters failed to provide the City with an expense report or transaction guide for 68 procurements made by the use of the credit card assigned to her by the City, and;
  • She used the procurement card for personal purchases, both acknowledged and unacknowledged which are in violation of the Purchasing and Procurement Policy of the City of Coppell.

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Coppell City Attorney Releases Procurement Card Report

July 28, 2010                                                                                                                         Page 2

As a result of the abuses, the City of Coppell sustained a loss of $6,353.39.  An addendum to the report notes an anonymous donation totaling $10,000 being given to the city on July 23, 2010, in an envelope marked for delivery to the city manager, with a typed note stating, “please use these dollars to reimburse the city for any and all credit card charges of Jayne Peters, with any remainder to go to the city.”

A second addendum was added to the report stating that the city manager, being concerned about what he perceived to be an abuse of the City procurement card, contacted and met with Council Member Place 7, Karen Hunt on Monday, July 12, explaining his concern and intent to confront Ms. Peters following the July 13 City Council Meeting.

City manager, Clay Phillips, continually questioned Ms. Peters regarding her expenditures requesting reimbursement and receipts.  According to the report and documentation, Ms. Peters acknowledged that personal charges had been inadvertently made and would personally pursue the appropriate credits and/or reimbursements.  She continually indicated that she had the receipts and would reimburse the City for any personal charges.

Documentation used to compile the report is available for viewing at Coppell Town Center, 255 Parkway Blvd., by appointment, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.  To schedule an appointment, call 972-304-3669.