Liberal OC: Great Park Auditors are Hypocrites
The law firm of Aleshire & Wynder and the accounting firm Hagen, Streiff, Newton & Oshiro Accountants PC submitted invoices well over budget that was not authorized by the Irvine City Council to complete the final report of the Great Park forensic audit and investigation, employing the very tactics they criticized selected vendors of the Great Park for — the practice of amending contracts to cover work done without budgetary authorization.
Quite an embarrassment for Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Lalloway and Council member Christina Shea that their handpicked hachet men went way over budget to complete a report on to match some political deadline.
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From the Register:
In a letter to City Manager Sean Joyce, the firm’s managing partner David Aleshire said pressure from Irvine officials to complete the audit in March pushed his firm over its $465,000 budget.
The directive to submit conclusions to the council ahead of its March 24 meeting had Aleshire & Wynder attorneys and staff “working 18 hour days,” he said. Even so, the final report “was barely complete” when the council reviewed the firm’s findings.
“Placed in a difficult position,” the firm “decided to make the priority finishing the report rather than ending up with more political theater about the never-ending report,” Aleshire said, even though a significant chunk of the firm’s budget was already exhausted.
However, “if it was wrong and you don’t want to pay us, we are in a business where hard choices must be made and sometimes they don’t work out,” he said.
Pressure to complete the report on a tight deadline may also have been an issue for the forensic auditing firm, which wants $67,257 more from the city. Great Park was misspelled Great “Part” on the first page of the firm’s final report, issued in March.