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The mayor landed a few devastating blows on Kroll Inc. today signaling his intention to break from this battered-spouse cycle the city has been in with its so-called audit committee. I want to read his comments once more, but there are some eloquent attacks.
Take this one:
There is no reason that I can think of as to why a private corporation with a profit motive should be allowed to serve as an audit committee – or worse, as an investigations arm with no controls – for a government entity with limited resources.
Look at what he’s implying there: That Kroll is literally extorting the city for profit (sound familiar?).
Here’s me, seven months ago:
Councilman Scott Peters recently told a group of local newspaper editors that he thought Kroll should be done with its work in April. Now Kroll says probably not until the “summer.” Meanwhile, city officials have done a pitiful job communicating why this $16 million couldn’t have been better spent in other areas…
…So now we just get to sit by and watch as this firm – the head of the so-called audit committee – extorts millions from San Diego taxpayers. Here’s a group whose leader, former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt, charges the city $900 an hour for his services. This is a city nearing bankruptcy – could he get by with, say, $700 an hour instead all in the name of public service?
But his expense, of course, is blindly approved time and time again by the City Council, whose lack of concern about the millions they’re spending on this thing should be a crime itself.
The best part of the statement the mayor prepared to be given Tuesday at City Council was his own quasi-admission that he had been on the wrong track.
Here’s how he puts it to the City Council.
I have been extremely patient with Kroll. I have asked you on two separate occasions to authorize additional funds. I have publicly rationalized their repeated delays. It all stops today.
I am frustrated and angry because our citizens elected me to manage effectively and to deliver solutions.
If the mayor’s statement is a political bone to people who think like me, it’s going to be hard not to gobble it up.
Then there’s this peculiar passage about, among other things, the U-T, whose editorial board has done nothing but defend and advocate for Kroll since the firm was hired. Remember, this is written to the City Council:
I have told Kroll that I want the report to be released in an open session of the City Council. I want the report issued on our terms, not theirs. I don’t want them to hold a news conference to announce the findings; I don’t want them issuing a press release or meeting with the Editorial Board of the Union Tribune; I don’t want them meeting with you or me to discuss it before the public receives it.