PBC ethics commission posts audit info on its websiteby Jennifer Sorentrue | April 11th, 2013
The Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics is posting all of the correspondence it receives about the state’s audit of its operations on its county website.
The commission has links to 12 letters, emails and other documents related to state review on its website, palmbeachcountyethics.com. The information is listed under the tab “OPPAGA review.”
The Legislature’s Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, known as OPPAGA, said last month that it had launched a review of the commission’s $500,000 budget, its operating procedures and the methods it uses to enforce the county’s ethics rules. State Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Wellington, asked the Senate president’s office to order the audit.
During a meeting last week, Ethics Commissioner Ronald Harbison alleged that Abruzzo called for the audit because the board did not hire his legislative aide and former boss to serve as its new executive director.
In a letter sent Monday to Ethics Commission Chairman Manuel Farach, Abruzzo said he asked for the audit on Feb. 13. His aide, Philip Massa, did not interview for the commission’s executive director job until March 21.Massa was notified on April 1 that he was not chosen for the position, Abruzzo said in the letter.
In a one-page written response, Farach invited Abruzzo to speak to the ethics board on June 6, and urged the senator to share specific concerns about the commission with its members so they can be immediately addressed.
“I respectfully request that you share with us any specific instance where you believe the commission failed so we can immediately address your concerns,” Farach wrote Wednesday.
Farach said the ethics commission has unanimously endorsed the state audit.
“We are very proud of our record of transparency and placing all facts before the public,” Farach wrote.