Sacto 9-1-1
November 30, 2011
Accountant: Library billing 'didn't pass the smell test'

A 139 percent mark-up on three years of work two maintenance firms provided for the Sacramento library system "doesn't past the smell test," a forensic accountant testified today.

"Just look at the numbers, sir," the accountant, former state Department of Justice financial crimes auditor Edward Hudson said, when asked by defense attorney Robert Saria what didn't seem right with the amount.

Two firms controlled by defendant Janie Rankins-Mayle billed the library authority $1.3 million for maintenance work it contracted out for $562,000, prosecutors have charged.

In his cross examination of Hudson, the final prosecution witness in the case, Saria suggested that the accountant did not include tens of thousands of dollars of tax liabilities and other costs in calculating the margins on Rankins-Mayle's two companies, All Cities Maintenance and Hagginwood Services, Inc.

Saria then recalculated the rates to show mark-ups more along the line of 25 percent. Hudson said the lower margin "still seems high."

Hudson said he based his assumption of the excessive charges on information provided to him by a district attorney's investigator that Rankins-Mayle's companies only provided billing services. Saria suggested the companies also supervised the maintenance projects performed by companies his client hired.

Rankins-Mayle, 62, and her husband, James Mayle, 66, the library system's ex-security chief, are charged with grand theft and offering a bribe. A third defendant, the library system's former facilities director, Dennis Nilsson, 65, also is charged in the case.

Deputy District Attorney Mike Blazina, is expected to rest his case today at the conclusion of Hudson's testimony.

James Mayle is then likely to take the stand this afternoon in his own defense, attorneys said.

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