Potential power of DeKalb watchdog at issue | www.myajc.com


Potential power of DeKalb watchdog at issue | www.myajc.com

For years, DeKalb County commissioners have had the power to hire a watchdog to look beyond the financial statements to make sure government is working.

They haven’t done it.

Now a grand jury is taking up the battle to get an internal auditor on board to help restore public trust. Its recent report called for expedited hiring to fill that post. But political differences and fears that the job itself could carry too much power — the main reasons the idea stalled after it was first proposed in 2010 — leave its future uncertain.

“It’s unbelievable that there is no oversight,” said Albert Trujillo, the retiree who served as foreman of the special grand jury. “It’s unbelievable you wouldn’t make that happen.”

If a financial auditor explains the numbers, the internal auditor – also called a performance auditor – explains what those numbers mean.

Commissioner Jeff Rader, who has advocated longest for the position, argues that sort of analysis could have revealed any pattern of wrongdoing such as suspended CEO Burrell Ellis is accused of: steering county contracts to supporters and punishing perceived enemies.

via Potential power of DeKalb watchdog at issue | www.myajc.com.

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