Monday, August 04, 2008

State Auditor protecting District from public scrutiny.

August 1, 2008

Mark Zandberg

Dear Mr. Zandberg:

Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding Edmonds School District. Specifically, you request whether our Office will be reviewing additional concerns you have regarding the District.

It recently was brought to the attention of our Office that you are in litigation with the District. It is the policy of this Office not to interfere in matters being reviewed by the court system.

Thank you again for contacting the State Auditor’s Office with your concerns.



JJ:jc H-2007-132

August 4, 2008

Jan Jutte

Dear Ms. Jutte,

Thank you for your letter dated August 1, 2008. I find it mildly bewildering as to why you would send the letter to an email account that I have never used in communicating with your office. I have always used and recommend that your office reply to the same address where an inquiry originates.

To be clear, the State Auditor is now opting to no longer investigate any whistle blower complaints levied against the Edmonds School District because of pending litigation not involving your office. The legal case filed in Federal Court pertains to wrongful termination and suppression of free speech by the Edmonds School District. It does not involve any of the items mentioned in the long list of concerns forwarded to your office.

In essence, you seek to defer the completion of your work to accommodate the needs of a public agency. More simply, you have decided to place the interests of a publicly-supported school district ahead of the public.

You also mention that it is the policy of your office to not "interfere in matters being reviewed by the court system". Withholding documents and refusing to investigate corruption and misconduct is clearly interfering with the mission of your office. It would appear that your refusal to provide requested information is clearly interfering with matters of importance to the public, like accountability.

Additionally, if the State Auditor applied this "policy" uniformly, it would appear that very few public agencies will actually ever be audited because so many of them are involved in litigation. Of particular interest is the legal case filed on behalf of the Edmonds School District against the State of Washington for the State's refusal to fully fund school districts. Perhaps this is the litigation to which you refer.

Furthermore, is it safe to conclude that the public records I have previously requested (and your office committed to provide by August 28th) will still be provided at that date or does this "policy" include all matters that may eventually hold public agencies accountable?


Mark Zandberg


Anonymous said...

The Director of Legal Affairs is not a member of the Washington State Bar. Shouldn't that position be filled by someone with legal training?

Maybe she was once a Paralegal. said...

It seems the State Auditor has a reputation for not caring about the Public.

King 5

Anonymous said...

I just received my ballot in the US mail. Any recommendations for the Auditor job? Obviously not Sonntag.

Anonymous said...

The Primary is coming!
The Primary is coming!

Too bad there isn't more of a choice.

Anonymous said...

Its clear the Auditors office wants to baffle all of us with bull$#*&. I think the whole lot went to the same seminar with Marla, Nick, the Board, et. al. If you print it on letter head, it has to be true, no matter the content is filled with lies.

Well, my mama & daddy didn't raise no fools. This stinks of something really fat and rotten.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know who Mark endorses for Auditor; give us a hint Mark!

Anonymous said...

actually its common practice when someone gets involved in litigation to basically "freeze" any additional investigation until the court case is settled. This is to remain a neutral parties and is fairly common in all CPA firms as well.

Anonymous said...

paralegal beagle -

Actually the rack of lawyers that the SAO retains are the ones who make the final decisions, the DLA is the liasion between those lawyers and the SAO.

Anonymous said...

Funny. When you start looking, nothing seems to be what it appears. We have all ASSUMED that auditors look at the books to see if any fraud is occuring, but that doesn't seem to be what they actually do. Ditto with school administrators; you think they are there to help but many spend more time getting in the way.