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Tue., Dec. 18, 2012, 8:40 a.m.

Gookin Wants Independent Audit

Mayor Sandi Bloem supports the city's decision not to reprimand anyone in the finance department in light of an embezzlement case that netted a former employee $365,000. Not everybody at City Hall agrees. The embezzlement issue will be a topic at Tuesday's City Council meeting, as the city prepares to hire the same accounting firm for its annual audit that performed the task in years past, even as city funds were being stolen. Bloem said this week in an interview with The Press that Tuesday's discussion shouldn't veer toward punitive issues inside the finance department/Tom Hasslinger, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.

(Councilman Dan Gookin) said he'd like to see an independent body look over the finance department's practices to determine what could or should have been implemented. Department employees who caught the fraud and implemented the new changes are the same ones under whose watch the thefts occurred. It would be more reassuring, he said, to have independent parties look it over. From those independent findings the punishment question could then be considered.

Question: Do you agree with Councilman Gookin that an independent audit be conducted to decide whether or not to take punitive action re: the city embezzlement case?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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