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VENTURA COUNTY FOCUS | Countywide

Controller Requests Review of Audit

April 11, 1998|MIGUEL BUSTILLO

Hoping to eliminate controversy surrounding his office's audit of Channel Islands Harbor, Ventura County Auditor-Controller Thomas O. Mahon said Friday he has requested a review of the probe from a Sacramento auditing firm.

After its release last week, two county supervisors and a taxpayer advocate questioned Mahon's audit, considering his ties to Peter Pedroff, director of the General Services Agency. They argued that political ties between the men create an appearance of favoritism.

The General Services Agency supervised the county Harbor Department for much of the five-year period audited by Mahon. Pedroff managed Mahon's 1994 campaign for auditor and contributed $100 to his reelection campaign last June.

To prove that ethical procedures were followed and government accounting standards met, Mahon has asked the firm of Macias, Gini & Co. to review the audit.

He suggested that the criticism was politically motivated, noting that most of it came from people who have endorsed opposing auditor candidate Stephen Maulhardt.

"I look forward to the results of this review, and the results will be released to the public promptly," Mahon said in a news release. "This election-year criticism has been very hard on my dedicated, hard-working staff."

The audit concluded the county did not use state money to directly subsidize local parks, which would have violated state regulations.

However, the audit was inconclusive on whether the money was used to indirectly fund parks. It said shoddy record-keeping by county officials prevented a conclusion on the matter.

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