Cleared of wrongdoing, Andre Kaufman wants an apology - - The News for South Mississippi

Cleared of wrongdoing, Andre Kaufman wants an apology

Kaufman wants an apology from the city. (Photo source: WLOX) Kaufman wants an apology from the city. (Photo source: WLOX)

A little more than two years after being forced out of his job, Andre Kaufman is now retired.

“I feel great. I really had no doubt that the outcome was going to be what it turned out to be. I knew the particulars, I knew the evidence, the documentation that we had,” Kaufman said. 

He was accused by some of selling scrap metal for personal gain, which he strongly denied.  Proceeds from scrap sales when to help charities and others.

A Jackson County grand jury found insufficient evidence to prosecute him on possible fraud charges, wrapping up an investigation that has lasted almost four years.

“We had a city public works employee whose spouse had lost his job right at Christmas time and we gave her money to help get by. She had two small children,” Kaufman recalled. 

He's not bashful saying what he thinks about the investigation.

“I think witch hunt is not strong enough,” noted Kaufman, who says everything was accounted for. "Every load was documented with a photograph, a weight, a copy of the ticket at the scrapyard. The canceled checks, both front and back.” 

He never talked with city leaders, but did take action when he found out.

“It was absolute silence. And when we found out that the state auditor was here because of that, we started making contact with the auditor because we wanted to share with him the files," said Kaufman. 

Not only is Kaufman considering legal action against the city, he also wants an apology. 

“You'd think that in light of the results that I'd at least be given an apology by the city for going down that road," Kaufman noted. “I'm bitter, I'm very bitter. I've suffered in the community. I know there were whispers behind my back has been. My wife and daughters have been embarrassed by it.” 

But, he's also ready to move on.

"I'm a big boy. I've been involved in politics and this type of thing back from the late 70's. But it bothers me that others around me had to go through it," Kaufman said. 

During his 20 years of leading Ocean Springs Public Works, the department was recognized on several occasions as being one of the best in the state.

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