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State not to investigate redevelopment

Dave Frank
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer

District Attorney Neil Rombardo said Wednesday that an audit of the Carson City redevelopment program by former City Auditor Sue Johnson does not show anything illegal was done, and he will not ask the attorney general to investigate.

In November, Johnson said the agency’s problems, including unapproved spending, lack of oversight and mismanaged projects, called for state review. She released an audit last month questioning how more than $500,000 was spent by redevelopment staff and the redevelopment authority.

But the call to have the state investigate the redevelopment program was made by a “somewhat disgruntled employee,” Rombardo said. Johnson’s own audit doesn’t show anything illegal was done in redevelopment, he said.

The redevelopment program does need to adopt rules to better track spending and contracts, he said.

City Manager Larry Werner has said such rules are important and will be ready in January.

The board of supervisors will look at the audit Dec. 18.

Pete Livermore, city supervisor and audit committee member, said the board should find out what is wrong with redevelopment and what needs to be done to fix it.

“For the community’s benefit, we need to be able to put to bed whether there is an issue here or not,” he said.

If the program doesn’t become more transparent, he said, the board might have to consider discipline.

The city redevelopment program works to keep, attract and expand business downtown and on the south side of Carson City. It is funded through part of the property taxes collected in those areas.

– Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.