California Dems kill plan to forensically audit Janet Napolitano's $175-million scandal at the University of California
Janet Napolitano got caught by a state auditor hiding $175 million in discretionary funds in the Office of the President of the University of California, while pleading poverty and asking for tuition hikes. Even worse, she tried to rig the audit.
There is enough smoke there to conceal a substantial fire.
It would seem merely prudent to send in the forensic auditors – people skilled at tracing funds that got squirreled away through accounting maneuvers. Of course, this presupposes that the people in charge care about whether or not money was stolen, misappropriated, or wasted when an executive took pains to hide it.
A Republican in the California State Assembly, Dante Acosta of Santa Clarita, sought to launch an examination of how those funds were used. And not a single Democrat supported the effort to pierce the darkness (where democracy dies, according to the Washington Post) with a genuine forensic investigation.
Patrick McGreevy reports in the Los Angeles Times:
Two months after a state audit found mismanagement at the University of California, Democratic state lawmakers on Wednesday blocked a Republican legislator's proposal to have auditors go back in and look deeper at spending, this time with an eye for possible criminal activity.
Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) said the follow-up examination was justified after an audit in April found the UC Office of the President had failed to disclose a $175-million budget surplus to the Board of Regents and the public, was paying excessive salaries and expenses and had inadequate financial safeguards in place to prevent abuse.
The lack of controls, the audit concluded, was "putting millions of dollars at risk of abuse."
The Democrats either didn't care or are afraid of what might be found:
However, no Democratic lawmakers on the Joint Legislative Audit Committee voted to authorize a new audit[.]
And this attitude is supported by the public official who should be acting as the fiduciary representative of the people of California:
Monica Lozano, chairwoman of the UC Board of Regents, told the legislative committee Wednesday that a new audit is "unnecessary" and may interfere with the system's implementation of recommendations from the last audit, including the hiring of an accountant to look at UC spending.
If the chairman of the Board of a public company went on the record as disapproving a forensic audit of his CEO who had been found to accumulate off-books funds, he would be hit with a shareholder suit. But the people of California don't have such an option – only elections. They will keep voting for Democrats no matter how much is stolen based on past experience.