BY MAIRE O’NEILL
The release letters for audit reports of the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities were issued Wednesday by the Office of the State Auditor Brian Colon.
According to an OSA spokesperson, per statute the reports do not become public until five days after the date of the release letters, unless the agency has submitted a written waiver.
“The five-day period for the reports expires on Monday, Nov. 18 at which time the reports will be published on our website,” the spokesperson said.
Sources tell the Los Alamos Reporter that RCLC executive director Eric Vasquez has submitted a letter to the OSA requesting a waiver of the five-day hold but that he had not received a response as of Thursday evening.
The release letters were not received in time to include the audit reports on the agenda for Friday afternoon’s RCLC meeting in Espanola. As of Thursday evening it was not known whether or not the reports would be discussed at the meeting.
The latest audits are the fourth in a series of reviews and investigations of the RCLC. In December 2017, Northern New Mexico Protects alerted Los Alamos County and the RCLC of concerns about reimbursements made for travel expenses. In March 2018, Los Alamos County initiated a review of the reimbursements and made recommendations on amending the RCLC travel policy.
Also in March 2018, former Los Alamos County Councilors Susan O’Leary and James Chrobocinski requested an independent ethics investigation on funds spent by the RCLC and former State Auditor Wayne Johnson designated the RCLC for a special audit. In August 2018 Northern New Mexico Protects asked Attorney General Hector Balderas to investigate the RCLC but no investigation was completed.
The RCLC board has implemented the recommendations made in the audit ordered by Johnson.
Although this year’s Tier 4 audits performed by Kubiak Melton and Associates of Albuquerque reflect the period from June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2018, it is believed that they do not identify who may need to reimburse the RCLC for expenses that were inappropriately reimbursed during the five-year period.