The second-in-command in the city’s audit department is leaving San Diego as a lengthy inquiry into his conduct remains unresolved.
Assistant City Auditor Chris Constantin has taken a job as finance director for the northern California city of Chico and will start April 10. Constantin and his boss, Auditor Eduardo Luna, are the targets of two investigations into allegations they created a hostile work environment and retaliated against employees. Two outside reports into the charges, which cost taxpayers $120,000, have been wrapped since November, but the city’s Audit Committee but hasn’t acted on them or released the reports to the public.
Chico City Manager Brian Nakamura said Monday that Constantin told him about the San Diego investigations before he was hired and he wasn’t bothered by it. Good auditors, Nakamura said, attract controversy, and that’s what he believes has happened with Constantin.
“If you can’t find something on an individual, then I would be more concerned than if I could,” Nakamura said.
Nakamura said he pursued Constantin for the job and didn’t think the San Diego investigation prompted Constantin to take it.
Constantin couldn’t be reached for comment.
Chico will pay Constantin $130,000 a year, Nakamura said. That looks to be a slight raise over what he’s making in San Diego. Constantin’s salary couldn’t be immediately verified, but data on the state controller’s website indicates Constantin earned $127,817 in 2011.
Audit Committee Chairman Kevin Faulconer said he wanted to finish the inquiry into Luna and Constantin by the end of March, but the committee took no action after a two-hour closed-door meeting last week. The committee is next scheduled to discuss the matter April 8.
Liam Dillon is a news reporter for Voice of San Diego. He covers how regular people interact with local government. What should he write about next?
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