Zinke Land Deal Going to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office

At last night’s council meeting, Town Manager Collin Dewitt advised that, with the revelation of new documents, he would ask Staff to do a more thorough investigation.  To this, Council Member John Sentz suggested that they have been talking about this issue and stirring up the mud long enough.   He suggested turning it over to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to find out if there was wrongdoing, or if it was just bad business practice or poor negotiations….or whatever.

Council Member Jenn Daniels agreed with John Sentz stating that she isn’t satisfied at this point either. Sunlight is the best astringent. To suggestions about hiring an independent outside financial auditor, she stated concerns that if the Town contracted with an independent outside financial auditor, it would be perceived by the public to be biased.

Ms. Daniels further stated that she wanted staff to gather every email, every document, every stickie note, every single piece of paper that has anything remotely to do with this purchase, whatever it takes, and put it on the Town’s website for the public to see.  She stated, “we didn’t know there were appraisals done.  What else don’t we know about?”

Council Member Linda Abbott agreed, saying some people involved at the time were no longer with the Town or they were outside parties, like Arcadis.

Council Member Dave Crozier agreed.  However, he stated that if the Attorney General’s Office decides to not take the case, the Council needs to be prepared and at least find an independent financial auditor, someone to “follow the money,” and get a cost for those services.

Les Presmyk agreed.

GW Note:  It was either wrongdoing or incompetence.  Probably both.   Note all the agreement?  If Abbott, Crozier or Presmyk had NOT agreed, we would have wondered, "What do they have to hide?"  Talk about being inbetween a rock and a hard place.

The Council voted 7-0 to proceed with all of the above:  1) Put every piece of information relating to Zinke on the website, by 3/10/2011.  2) Refer the land deal to the Attorney General’s Office.  3) Find a firm that has never done business with the Town in the past and get a quote for an independent financial audit, by 3/10/2011, in the event the Attorney General doesn’t take on the case.