State Senator Joe Abruzzo Orders Two Shady Audits, Opponents Cry Foul [Updated]

Categories: Politics

Over the last few months, Delray Beach has been torn up by a debate over the Arts Garage, a popular multi-purpose space in the city's downtown area. The issue is whether a law firm should be allowed to outbid the non-profit on the high-end real estate. If you've been plugged in to back and forth, you know it's been nasty.

But the latest twist might take the blue ribbon for chicanery. Arts Garage supports say the other side is flexing political muscle in retaliation.

Specifically, State Senator Joe Abruzzo ordered a state audit recerntly of the Delray Beach Community Redevelopment Agency - the Arts Garage's funder. It's no coincidence, some say, and the proof is that this is the second suspicious audit involving Abruzzo.

Update: Sen. Abruzzo called us back Friday morning with comments and clarifications on the issue. More below.

"I think it's politically driven," Delray Mayor Cary Glickstein tells New Times. "I think people that don't support the Arts Garage and know that it's wildly popular here in town think in some twisted way, 'We'll just tap the CRA for supporting it.'"

Abruzzo didn't return New Times' call for comment. But his explanation for who's sitting in the driver's seat of the audit has changed. Originally, Abruzzo said the request came from State Senator Jeff Clemens - which raised the question why Clemens would want a state-sponsored snooping of the Delray CRA's books, when the city isn't even in his district? Abruzzo later copped to the truth, admitting he asked Clemens to file the request for an audit. [See update]

"[I]n 25 years [the CRA] has not been audited," Abruzzo told the Sun-Sentinel. "That is grounds enough to be audited."

Not so, says Glickstein. A third party audits the Delray CRA every year. He calls Abruzzo's move a "misuse of office."

"In my opinion he's misrepresented facts to both his own committee as well as the public," the mayor says.

But this isn't the only audit Abruzzo has aimed recently. He's also ordered an examination of the Palm Beach County Commission on Ethics. As the Palm Beach Post pointed out this week, the audit was announced days after Abruzzo's legislative aid Philip Massa was not awarded a six-figure job with the commission.

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frankd4 topcommenter

of course AUDITs are a pain, if done correctly, because the systems of control have to be tested and the numbers have to be confirmed as complete and accurate and values have to be verified with a specified range and a lot of stuff has to become available for inspection = so what ?

not wanting an AUDIT typically means you already know something is not the way it is supposed to be and you don't want that made may be a little problem but then again it may be a big problem

BANKs get into their biggest problems when management knows of a fire but just doesn't want it exposed and so it goes on UNTIL the problem get so large it can no longer go unnoticed = like when JPMorgan first went looking for the $2 billion dollars and that became a $6 billion dollar mess and still as of last weeks congressional testimony the bank executives don't know what happened because the london whale admitted his analysis and statements to the bank risk managers was indeed all GOBLYDEGOOK

just do the AUDIT = period

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