Thursday, July 13, 2006 | Mayor Jerry Sanders has reached the end of his rope with Kroll Inc., and I’m darn glad to see it. However, it sure seems to me that we ought to be able to do something more than just publicly embarrass these thieves.

Yes, thieves.

You and I are taxpayers and $20 million of our money has gone into creation of a document. The document I am referring to is Kroll’s draft report. We know it exists because there was some discussion between Kroll and the mayor’s office (later turned out to be incorrect) that it had been provided to U.S. Attorney Carol Lam. There were also rumors that it may have been provided to KPMG. Whether or not that draft has been provided to anyone is neither here nor there.

The point is that the document exists.

And no, I’m not the least bit concerned that it is only a draft. After $20 million of our money, we should see the work product. If there are errors in it, then I think we have the right to know that too. If Kroll finds the errors embarrassing, then so be it. They have until Friday to fix them. And let’s hope that no one even thinks about using Lynn Turner’s vacation as an excuse. Have these folks not heard of laptops?

From where I sit, the draft Kroll report is mine and I want to see it. I think you do too.

Mayor Sanders should demand that Kroll release that draft by Friday. If there are incremental costs associated with printing it out, I would be happy to donate a toner cartridge and a box of paper so that the mayor and councilmembers could all have copies without being billed for additional out-of-pocket expenses by Kroll. But I hope they don’t forget that I want one too.

Meanwhile, Mike Aguirre needs to dust off his thinking cap and, by Monday, come up with a legal argument as to why we have a right to that document. If I’m being deprived the use of something I’ve paid for, that sure sounds wrong to me. Aguirre is a creative guy and he keeps saying he’s representing me, so here’s an opportunity to prove it.

And damages? Good heavens, the damages are huge and mounting daily. Kroll is holding up KPMG and KPMG is holding up the audits. The audits are holding up our access to Wall Street, so we are paying far more interest than we should need to for just about everything. Meanwhile, the rates just went up another quarter of a point.

If Aguirre can convince a judge that Kroll is depriving the taxpayers of the use of the draft of a report they’ve paid for and that damages are mounting daily, then the next step should be to get authorization to seize it.

At a minimum, such an action would result in Kroll being hauled into court to explain why, after spending $20 million of our money, we can’t see a draft of the report. I’ll bet that hearing will get Wall Street coverage. Maybe every major paper and TV in the country will cover it.

The best outcome of such an action would be for us to get possession of that report so that it can be given to KPMG so that they can stop using it as an excuse. Then we need to start dealing with KPMG.

April Boling is an accountant. She is the former chairwoman of the city’s Pension Reform Committee and was also chairwoman of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. Agree? Disagree? Send a letter to the editor.

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