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NEWPORT BEACH : City OKs Hiring of Internal Auditor

March 25, 1993|BOB ELSTON

Despite almost $6 million in budget cuts and possible layoffs of 60 municipal employees, the City Council this week authorized the hiring of an internal auditor for the Finance Department.

Addressing the council Monday, City Manager Kevin J. Murphy said, "It may seem strange that we are planning 50 or 60 layoffs while also asking authorization to hire for this position but we, like any city, are vulnerable to embezzlement and dishonesty."

City officials said that having an auditor could help prevent embezzlement schemes like that of former utilities director Robert Dixon, who was sentenced last summer to four years in prison for stealing $1.8 million from the city coffers.

Finance Director Dennis Danner said he hopes to fill the position with someone already employed by the city. The job pays $35,000 a year.

Danner also said his staff will probably lose five positions to attrition and layoffs.

"That makes it that much more important to know we are crossing our Ts and dotting our I's," Danner said.

City officials decided last spring that the auditor would be needed but had not filled the post because of a hiring freeze and shortage of money.

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