Jeff Smith 2:30 p.m., June 26
Kroll's Wolves, Who Fleeced the City of $20 Million, Return To Chase Foxes
In August of 2006, Kroll, Inc. issued a report about San Diego's financial reporting problems. The firm had been hired to decide whether a mild report by Vinson & Elkins, or a stronger one by City Attorney Mike Aguirre, best described San Diego's situation. Doing a few interviews, and sewing together information from previous reports, including Aguirre's, Kroll came down on the side of Aguirre: individuals in government shoule be held responsible for false information deliberately put in bond prospectuses. Kroll and its law firm charged the City $20 million and beat it out of town, becoming well nigh inaccessible. The wolves are back. On the Union-Tribune op-ed page of May 30, Arthur Levitt (who made $900 an hour in the $20 million fleece job) and his assistant Lynn Turner argued in favor of Prop. C, which would permit the mayor to hire his own auditor in defiance of basic accounting conventions. On May 29, the U-T had denounced Councilmember Donna Frye and other opponents of the measure. Frye wanted to write a rebuttal letter. The U-T called her and said she should write an op-ed piece outlining her opposition to Prop. C. She had three hours to write it. The next day, her op-ed appeared as a foil to the one supposedly written by Levitt and Turner. How long did they have to write theirs? And how much were they paid? The U-T is as broke as the City.