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State auditor ‘greatly concerned’

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By David Giuliani

State Auditor Hector Balderas said last week that he was “greatly concerned” that he had not received a final audit report on the city’s utility billing practices.

Balderas also said he considered “unprofessional delay and premature disclosures” both violations of the state Audit Act.

“It is my expectation that this report will be provided to my office without further delay,” Balderas said in a letter to the city and its auditing firm, Albuquerque-based Accounting and Consulting Group.

Balderas has required the city to turn in its responses to the auditing firm for inclusion in the final report by Tuesday. And the auditing firm should present the report to the state auditor’s office two days after that, Balderas said.

Recently, Balderas said in an interview that it was taking an unusually long time for the final report to be turned in to his office. He said he wanted the audit out as soon as possible.

At last week’s City Council meeting, City Attorney Carlos Quiñones said only Balderas was authorized to release the report.

The reference to “premature disclosures” probably had to do with the Optic’s obtaining the audit report, which officials said was supposed to remain confidential until the state auditor officially releases it.