A recent story in the Los Angeles Times describes how DWP Union Chief Brian D’Arcy did not attend a scheduled meeting with auditors trying to investigate the spending of over $40 million in ratepayer money by two nonprofits he co-manages. The Joint Training Institute and the Joint Safety Institute were established to foster better relations between managers and unionized workers after 1990s era job cuts. According to the Times’ report:
“Federal tax forms filed by the nonprofits offer only broad summaries of the organizations’ outlays, including more than $360,000 spent on travel from 2009 to 2011 and nearly $2.4 million spent on “other.””
Such avoidance of meetings with auditors should only serve to increase the auditors’ interest in the issues they are exploring. Although meeting with D’Arcy is useful as part of the audit process, forensic accountants are adept at finding other ways to uncover the pattern and nature of transactions. Government officials and ratepayers are right to be interested in how these substantial funds were spent and should continue to pursue this issue to its end with the appropriate professional resources.