Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Harris County Investments Under Scrutiny

I'm sure Edwin Harrison will say everything will look different, when all of the facts come out, but the facts that we do have right now are sure not looking good for him...

Bond trade fees draw scrutiny, Mike Morris,

Two brokers with ties to Harris County's troubled former finance chief overcharged the county by more than $900,000 on dozens of trades in the last three years, a Houston Chronicle analysis has found.

Despite the inflated prices, former financial services director Edwin Harrison funneled roughly half of $7.3 billion in county investments from 2008 through last fall to Morgan Stanley's Howard LeDet and UBS' Royce Simpson, according to a Chronicle analysis of county financial records.

The article (which you should read all the way through) goes on to provide details for both questionable personal and business dealings between Mr. Harrison and two investors from 2008 forward. It's a good piece of watchdog reporting by the Chron, something we wish we'd see more of, and not just directed at the County, but at other local government (and pseudo-government) entities as well.

I've long thought that having one person in a position of power who can make decisions involving Millions of dollars of taxpayer money is a bad idea. In the private sector there are SOX controls, and other safeguards to prevent this type of fraud. Would it be such a bad idea to implement (or strictly enforce) chain of control measures in local government?

I'm sure the powers will be will ensure us they're in place, but they're sure not being followed.

1 comment:

  1. Hard earned tax payers money being misappropriated, The administration must take tough actions.


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