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Gainesville’s Airport Board Discusses Missing $49K of Parking Lot Revenue

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When the Gainesville Regional Airport started using self-pay parking machines 18 months ago, chief executive Allan Penksa says he didn’t create written instructions for how the cash going into those machines was to be removed and deposited.

He verbally told employees how the money was to be handled.

Last month, after $49,090 in cash payments from those machines turned up missing, airport management put guidelines into writing.

“No one has all three keys, and two people are supposed to take that box and count (the money), and prepare that deposit,” Penksa said Monday at a Gainesville-Alachua County Regional Airport Authority meeting, where the topic of discussion was the annual independent auditors’ report.

Penksa said one key opens the ticket payment machine, another key removes the safe box, and a third key opens the safe box.

That three-key system went into effect in May, though the system was installed in late 2015, and the $49,000 went missing between April 2016 and February 2017, according to Terry Kite of Purvis, Gray & Company.

“One of the reasons for this (the missing money), I guess, was that management had some policies in place that were circumvented, the policies weren’t being followed, as far as the internal control over the cash collections and deposit of the funds,” Kite told the Airport Authority board members.

Gainesville police detectives are investigating the missing cash but have not made an arrest.

The cash self-pay lane at the Gainesville Regional Airport parking lot.

About Ethan Magoc

Ethan is a journalist at WUFT News. He's a Pennsylvania native who found a home reporting Florida's stories. Reach him by emailing emagoc@wuft.org or calling 352-294-1525.

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  • Susan Bottcher

    But wait – isn’t an independent governing broad like the Airport Authority Board supposed to be the end-all of oversight governance models? Isn’t that what the anti-city/anti-GRU/anti-GREC crowd has been screaming about for GRU? The harpies have held up the AAB as a shining example of fiscally responsible, non-political, proper independent oversight (because you know, elected officials just aren’t up to the task), yet, here we are…. Gee, how does this happen?