External audit finds Cedar Hills finances are in order

Published: Friday, July 6 2012 12:51 p.m. MDT

CEDAR HILLS, Utah County — An external audit into the financial management of former mayor Eric Richardson has revealed that city finances are in order, officials announced Friday.

In a prepared statement, city leaders announced that reviewers Squire & Company had been hired to examine Richardson's authority over city accounts, transactions on his city-issued credit card and a number of city financial transactions that took place during his time as mayor.

Squire & Company reported no concerns regarding Richardson's credit card transactions and discovered four irregularities in city transactions, two of which had been previously addressed and corrected by city staff, officials said.

"While we did not suspect mishandling of public funds, the results of these additional procedures are reassuring," Finance Director Rebecca Tehero said in a prepared statement. "The report confirms that the internal controls we have in place are working and that the annual, external audit is sufficient to identify any areas for improvement."

The audit was ordered during a Cedar Hills City Council meeting in June after Richardson had been accused in a federal complaint of soliciting fraudulent investments. He has since been charged with bank fraud in federal court.

A coalition of residents accused Richardson of mishandling city funds and requested a forensic audit beyond the city's standard auditing procedures. After the council approved an external audit, Ken Cromar, a member of that coalition, said the parameters of the audit were too narrow and a more extensive examination of the city's finances was needed to address concerns.

Richardson resigned from his position as mayor on June 24.

Benjamin Wood

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