Letter: Time to investigate CRC



State Senate leaders have asked Gov. Jay Inslee for a formal independent investigation of the Columbia River Crossing, citing financial questions raised by two forensic accountants. It’s about time someone called for an investigation of the CRC and the way they spend the taxpayers’ money. I understand, from a story in The Columbian, the contracts that have been awarded are two years behind schedule and overbudget.

Washington Secretary of Transportation Lynn Peterson announced a broad review of three active megaprojects, including the CRC. Her choice to lead the review, Ron Paananen of engineering firm CH2M Hill, prompted questions about his objectivity. Paananen is a former Washington State Department of Transportation administrator. CH2M Hill is a paid consultant that has received money from the CRC.

Does anyone think this is a conflict of interest? Kind of like letting the fox in the hen house. It is time someone is held accountable for the fraudulent use of taxpayers’ funds.

Tom Effinger