New bookkeeping problems at the Salt Palace box office disclosed this week are just another example of mismanagement of public resources by Salt Lake County commissioners, commission candidate Jim Bradley charged Friday.
But his opponent, Commissioner Mike Stewart, responded swiftly, accusing Bradley of "irresponsible mudslinging" and "distortion of the facts."Democrat Bradley, who is challenging the two-term incumbent Republican, told a press conference held in front of the box office ticket windows the ol'-boy Republican network that has controlled the commission for eight years must be broken up.
"In 1987 we read article after article about mismanagement at the Salt Palace. Now it's occurring again in 1988," Bradley said. "If it happens time and time again, there is something fundamentally wrong. Ultimately, elected leaders must take responsibility."
But Stewart stressed that no money is missing, and said Bradley didn't bother to get the facts before making accusations.
"We must remember it was the Salt Palace staff that became aware of this problem and reported it," Stewart said in a separate press conference. "The system worked. Corrective action is being taken. We have been forthright and open in this matter."
On Wednesday, the county auditor's office revealed cash-handling procedures implemented following a box office embezzlement scandal last year were not followed for 10 days in September. One employee has been suspended for three days without pay and more employees may be disciplined.