State finds County Implemented all 24 Recommendations
FLORENCE – The Arizona Auditor General's Office confirmed Wednesday that Pinal County has implemented all 24 recommendations that Richard "Rick" Romley prescribed following his investigation of former County Manager Stanley D. Griffis.
"We wanted an independent source to put us under the microscope to see if the County is following Mr. Romley's recommendations," said Chairman David Snider. "I am glad to hear the Auditor announce that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing to ensure the public's trust."
Former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley was retained by then County Attorney Carter Olson and the Pinal County Board of Supervisors to serve as special investigator and prosecutor in the Griffis investigation. In January 2007, Griffis pled guilty to six felonies that occurred while he was County Manager. Griffis was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $639,000. Romley delivered his administrative report to the Board of Supervisors on May 16, 2007, following his investigation.
"The County implemented all of the recommendations," said Dennis Mattheisen, Director of the Financial Audit Division of the Office of the Auditor General. "This was a unique and important goal that the County accomplished by putting resources toward meeting all the recommendations. Pinal County has been helpful and open during this entire process."
Mattheisen added that taxpayers can be confident the County is accounting for all monies in its treasury.
"The recommendations that Mr. Romley proposed were thorough and our staff went above and beyond to meet all 24," said District 2 Supervisor Sandie Smith. "The recommendations included changes in procedure as well as important changes to County policies."
The twelve month report by the Office of the Auditor General was the second and final examination of the County's implementation of the Romley recommendations.
"The report by Romley was up front and to the point," said District 1 Supervisor Lionel Ruiz. "Some of the recommendations were easy to implement and others took more time. I am confident that everything from having an Internal Auditor to the new policies will help us restore residents' confidence in our controls."
At a February 2008 presentation, Teresa Finley from the Arizona Auditor General's office verified that Pinal County had fully implemented 15 of the 24 recommendations. The remaining nine were partially implemented.
The Auditor General's report is posted at http://pinalcountyaz.gov/Departments/NewsInformation/Pages/GriffisInvestigation.aspx.