The recent articles in The Columbian about monies spent by the Columbia River Crossing could be the tip of an iceberg floating in a sea of red ink. As I’ve said before in a previous letter, Clark County residents deserve an independent audit of all monies spent by the CRC. Earlier, County Commissioner David Madore had requested an independent forensic audit be held. David Evans and Associates refused, stating trade secrets would be revealed.
In December 2012, the Washington Policy Center asked the Washington State Auditor’s Office to investigate the CRC, citing forensic accountant Tiffany Couch’s firm’s reports about the openness, accounting, expenditures, large cost overruns and other irregularities. These reports were publicly released to state and federal lawmakers.
If The Columbian had been as zealous in investigating the CRC from 2005 to 2013 as is their exhaustive reporting of Madore’s daily activities, possibly the local Coast Guard would have made its bridge height decision before Washington, D.C., politics took over. More intensive and thorough investigative reporting regarding the CRC’s spending could have silenced critics who cried “no light rail, no bridge.”
I ask once more, who is guarding our tax dollars?
Harvey D. Olson