Independent auditors this spring will examine "unexplained fluctuations" in
The work is part of a special audit.
In a recent letter to the county, Balderas outlined what the audit will cover. The county expects to hire an accounting firm next month to begin the work, which will include:
--Comparing the price the county paid for investments and their market value at the time.
--Reviewing in detail the transactions handled by a broker who had once been involved in a settlement between a financial-services firm and
The audit is to determine "whether any conflicts of interest may have existed for these transactions and investments."
Simpson declined to comment when reached by the Journal on Monday.
--Examining "unexpected or unexplained fluctuations in investment-related transactions" since the summer of 2010.
--Reviewing how the Treasurer's Office bought and sold investments, including payments to brokers, whether through fees, discounts or other compensation. Auditors will determine whether the county process met "best practices" of the industry.
In his recent letter, Balderas said the special audit was triggered when a routine financial audit turned up "troubling risks related to the County's Treasurer's Office."
The completion of the routine audit came in November, when Balderas said auditors had found "consistent failures" to follow the law and other regulations.
Ortiz said Tuesday he wasn't familiar with the details of the new audit's focus.
The special audit is the latest in a series of troubles for Ortiz.
In January, a state district judge agreed to allow signature-gathering to begin a recall effort. Judge
Ortiz also has been at odds with the
The commission and its top administrators say too much of the county's cash is tied up in long-term investments that are at risk of losing value. The county's investment portfolio has lost about
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