Sunday, May 29, 2011

Not Even Private Auditors Want to Touch Bell's Finances

When your city is engulfed in corruption as deeply as the city of Bell was, digging your way out can take time. As this report from the LA Times suggests, nothing is coming easy to the beleaguered Los Angeles County town these days.

Bell's new City Council is currently trying to find someone to do a thorough audit of the books its prior leaders thoroughly cooked. Yet after asking at least 30 private accounting firms for proposals for a new auditing contract, the city found no one was interested in the scrutiny that would come with taking on a basket case like Bell. As a result, the town has no budget for the upcoming fiscal year; it is believed to face a deficit in the neighborhood of $4.9 million, and may have only $100,000 in reserves by the end of June after officials like Robert Rizzo misappropriated over $5.5 million. The city has also contacted state controller John Chiang's office to ask for help in finding an auditor; since the controller conducted several audits of Bell's finances during last year's corruption investigations, they should be able to help. But this report is just another chapter in the grief that can come when you trust your government too much.


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