Q: When the local government fires someone and then presses charges against them for theft, how is this reported in the yearly audit?

A: Regardless of the rank or the responsibilities of the employee and regardless of the amount of money allegedly stolen, a qualified and professional auditor would include alleged or actual theft in their findings. Theft of public money is, perhaps, the most clear-cut example of government fraud, and a good auditor would cite it as such, even if the crime is only still alleged.

Q: So, how does the legislative auditor respond?

A: They have a ranking system. If someone who worked for the local government, in any capacity, stole or has been accused of stealing taxpayer dollars, the legislative auditor rightfully recognizes it as a comment on “fraud or abuse,” and they rank the audit a “D.” Any audit submitted to the legislative auditor that includes “comments on fraud and abuse” is given the same ranking.

Q: So even if a local government had their “cleanest” audit ever, they’d still receive a D rank if they charged an employee with stealing?

A: Yes. It’s a serious charge, regardless of the amount, and thankfully, it is taken seriously. Chances are, if your local government is reporting allegations or incidents of theft instead of attempting to cover them up or shield them from view, they don’t care about rankings: They care about open, honest, and transparent reporting, and they value a fair and accurate assessment, audit, and evaluation.

Q: Is this entire post just some thinly-veiled response?

A: Of course not. There’s no one in my community who consistently, obsessively, and maliciously misrepresents the truth. No rational person would ever blame the theft of taxpayer money alleged against a former employee with the people who actually exposed the alleged crime and immediately reported it to multiple agencies. The only reason anyone would attempt to do something like that is if they harbored some sort of bizarre vendetta and if they had absolutely no regard for the facts.

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