Miami Beach

Miami Beach’s CFO demotes herself after her department failed to notice $3.6M being stolen

Miami Beach’s chief financial officer demoted herself Tuesday in the latest shakeup following the revelation that her department failed to detect $3.6 million being siphoned out of a city bank account over six months.

The Miami Herald has learned that Allison Williams, who has overseen the city’s finance department since September 2015, offered to demote herself to deputy finance director. The move was confirmed by city officials Tuesday evening.

It hasn’t been a pretty 16 months for the Beach’s finance department. Williams was elevated from being the city’s chief accountant to CFO in the wake of another scandal that saw the forced resignation of the city’s top two financial officers. They were found to have manipulated paid vacation and sick time to benefit future payouts when they left the city.

The change was discussed in a meeting with City Manager Jimmy Morales on Tuesday.

“Jimmy and Allison spoke today, and she offered to step into the deputy role to give Jimmy the opportunity to hire a new CFO,” said city spokeswoman Melissa Berthier.

Morales and Williams were not available for comment Tuesday evening.

The manager is expected to update the City Commission on the situation Wednesday during its first meeting since the scandal broke. In a memo sent to commissioners Monday, he outlined preliminary information about how the fraud occurred and wrote that the city has recovered only $691,770 of the missing money so far.

Berthier said no replacement for Williams has been named. The new appointment would need to be confirmed by the City Commission.

Joey Flechas: 305-376-3602, @joeflech