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11-15-2012, 03:39 PM
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Outgoing Mayor Elaine Scruggs said she wants a full investigation by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

“There is enough evidence and e-mails that show this should be investigated immediately,” she said.

Jerry Weiers, who will replace Scruggs in January, pointed to the internal audit as another reason to create a citizens budget committee as a public watchdog over city finances. The mayor-elect slammed a recently formed city audit committee because it would be made up heavily of staff and council members. He compared it to the fox guarding the henhouse.

Weiers has hesitated to call for a forensic audit, which he has said would imply possible criminal wrongdoing, but he said “we may be getting pretty close in some areas.”

He added, “If I need to get (County Attorney) Bill Montgomery to look into this, I will.”

An outside review could fall within the purview of the County Attorney’s Office or the state Attorney General’s Office. The state Auditor General’s Office also could conduct an audit and refer the matter to the county attorney or attorney general.

Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the County Attorney’s Office, said that, in general, they are not an investigative agency, but law-enforcement agencies have authority to conduct investigations into white-collar crimes. The county could then review an investigation and recommend charges.

“That doesn’t mean the Glendale mayor could not approach our office and talk to us,” he said.

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