Anonymous citizen group demands county audit
March 25, 2014
A group of anonymous concerned citizens calling itself "Citizens for Transparent Grand County Government Now" has presented a list of county transparency demands.
In an email, sent to commissioners on March 17, the group asked the commissioners to hire an independent accounting firm to do a complete internal audit of all county departments back to 2007. As part of the audit, the email requested expense reports, credit card statements, payroll and all checks issued since 2007. The email also requested the current payroll for each person employed by the county be published in the Sky-Hi News.
"As taxpaying citizens, we have lost any trust in your ability to be transparent or responsible with our taxpayer dollars," the email said.
The email included no signatures, contact details or information about individuals who might be associated with the group. The Sky-Hi news attempted to find a representative from "Citizens for Transparent Grand County Government Now" to interview. An email response said the group was a "grassroots effort that is just gaining momentum" consisting of a "very diverse demographic within Grand County." The response further stressed concerns over a perceived cover-up in the county, referring to "false statements about who found the building department scandal and what was done when it was uncovered." The response did not identify any members, citing concerns over retribution from the county, but noted it would be meeting over the weekend. No further information for the group was found apart from its email address.
County commissioners addressed the email during their regular meeting on Tuesday, March 18. According to meeting notes, the commissioners stated the county has already been working on, already provides or already does what the email requests. Commissioners said they began the process to hire an outside forensic accountant "several weeks ago" to assess cash and related activities in each department.
The commissioners also said they published annual employee salaries on Feb. 14, 2014, and will publish monthly salaries in June as required by law. This information is published in the Middle Park Times, the Sky-Hi's weekly roundup and the area's legals newspaper.
The commissioners directed the county manager to reply to the email, stating "BOCC (Board of County Commissioners) appreciates the concerns, but it's not the BOCC's policy to answer anonymous requests."
The Sky-Hi attempted to contact County Manager Lurline Underbrink Curran for further information on the proposed forensic accounting audit, but at the time of publication, calls had not been returned.
Leia Larsen can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603.