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State panel clears Cooley in case centering on use of CPA title

The state Board of Accountancy has cleared Spokane’s Chief Financial Officer Gavin Cooley of falsely labeling himself a certified public accountant.

In a letter to Cooley, Rick Sweeney, the executive director of the board, said board members dismissed the allegation on Oct. 13.

The case was opened after Ron Wright, a retired Riverside, Calif., police detective, filed a complaint against Cooley after he saw “CPA” listed after Cooley’s name on a city website that listed the city’s investment committee.

Cooley, who opted to let his CPA license expire in 2006, said he never intentionally used the CPA title after it lapsed and that the Web page cited by Wright was written when he still was a CPA. Cooley said it was an oversight that the title hadn’t been changed.

Sweeney called the usage “incidental.” He said a separate case remains, based on Wright’s complaint related to Cooley’s involvement with the city’s 2004 settlement with River Park Square. The mall is a subsidiary of the Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt



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