Brimeyer: Credit check was clean

Published 9:30 am Thursday, September 2, 2010

Albert Lea City Manager Jim Norman’s credit check came back clean during the search for a new city manager earlier this year, Brimeyer Fursman President Richard Fursman told the Tribune on Wednesday.

Fursman, who was hired to search and conduct initial interviews with the city manager candidates, said his company — then called The Brimeyer Group — contracted with Verified Credentials Inc. to check out candidates’ credit, criminal and educational histories. Norman’s history was found to be acceptable by the company.

Jim Norman

That meant Norman had no bankruptcies or issues involving any kind of criminal activity with credit; however, that may not have necessarily meant he didn’t have any bills, Fursman clarified. Fursman said the company does not check every credit card a person has but went on to note again that Norman’s check was acceptable.

Email newsletter signup

The stability of Norman’s credit has been questioned after charges were filed Friday against him, alleging that he misused the city credit card for personal purchases such as gas, groceries, hotels, women’s shoes and even a refrigerator after he was hired as city manager.

He faces two felony counts and one gross misdemeanor count tied to the allegations.

According to court records, when Albert Lea Finance Director Rhonda Moen reportedly discovered the alleged inappropriate charges, she sent Norman an e-mail, reminding him the city credit card could not be used for personal transactions and pointing out that the card should not be confused with personal credit cards because it had the city logo on it.

In a response e-mail, Norman reportedly wrote, “It was not about being confused about different credit cards, it was about being in terrible financial shape when I began here in Albert Lea,” court documents allege.

He reportedly also told Moen he did not have any credit and said he was attempting to clear up his own personal debt through federal stimulus legislation.

In a later e-mail, he denied improperly using the credit card, claiming that no charges were for his personal use and that all of the charges were items the city is responsible for paying.

According to court documents, Norman signed a user’s agreement for the card on his first full-time day, May 3, stating he agreed to comply with all the terms for its use.

Transactions in question were from May 15 through July 15.