Alan Dunstan wants to run Madison County his way, and Kurt Prenzler isn’t having any of it. Prenzler has a unique ability to get under Dunstan’s skin with ethics and professionalism. Dunstan thinks he has a winner by attacking Kurt Prenzler’s investments. Problem is Dunstan is a treasurer or two late.
Former Madison County Treasurers Fred Bathon and Frank Miles both used James Foley to purchase investments. Fred Bathon also used him as the auctioneer of Bathon’s criminal tax sales, but that is another story.
Mr. Foley had an almost exclusive relationship with one Little Rock, Arkansas bond salesman, who happen to not read the county’s investment policy (wink, wink). He sure did make a ton of money under Frank Miles, almost $500,000 as a matter a fact, in commissions in a short 10months under Miles. Anyone from Arkansas would consider that “eating high on the hog”. According to an email, that bond salesman in Arkansas said, (On Prenzler being elected)…this is going to be bad for business.
The big disagreement between Prenzler and Dunstan is that Dunstan has stated on numerous occasions that he thinks Mr. Foley was an amazing investment officer, and can’t understand why Kurt Prenzler fired him for cause (which was upheld in Federal Court when he sued…not sure what he said to the FBI when asked about the Bathon’s criminal tax sales, but that is a different story). Dunstan does not understand why Prenzler didn’t keep investing in 12-15 year bonds, that were outside the county’s investment policy, like was done under Frank Miles.
To those who may not know, investment professionals around the country are taught to never break the investment policy and termination is typical for the offense. Breaking the investment policy is like not showing up for work. It is not complicated. You know you did it. It is not hard to abide by an investment policy, but it is very, very important. An investment policy says what you can invest in and what you cannot. It prevents an investment officer from buying inappropriate investments. It is a very simple concept.
So, to make a long story short, Dunstan is sore at Kurt Prenzler for cleaning up the mess in the Treasurer’s office. It is a fact that when Prenzler cleaned up the office, a possible consequence would be to lower investment returns, and that is ok, because they are now invested safely and within the county’s investment policy. Madison County is not investing inappropriately in 12-15year bonds, and never should of been. Long-term investments were not authorized to be purchased under the investment policy and are not appropriate for a county treasurer.