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Sundstrom on Street

In an Orange County Register Op/Ed on Sunday, Orange County Auditor-Controller David Sundstrom weighed in on the matter of Chriss Street’s investment Authority. The Case For Keeping Chriss Street

I have a great deal of respect for David Sundstrom. In his commentary he made some valid observations about the oversight of the Treasurer’s office that has been put in place since the 1994 county bankruptcy. I agree that there are controls in place that would discover improper conduct.

With all due respect to Mr. Sundstrom, audits after the fact do nothing to allay the concerns about Street’s judgement. In his commentary Sundstrom indicated that he felt Street’s investment authority should not be removed. But he later added “as Chairman of the county’s Audit Oversight Committee, I will call for additional administrative audits of his office.” That really doesn’t instill a great amount of confidence in Street’s competence to manage the count’s $7 billion investment portfolio.

Audits are after the fact; they only look backwards in time. They do not provide any level of proactive protection against poor judgement and poor decision making. Until the internal investigations and external personal distractions are concluded, it would be prudent for the Board of Supervisors to concur with Supervisor Moorlach and strip Street of his investment authority.

Given Supervisor Moorlach’s long history and friendship with his hand-picked successor, I’m inclined to wonder what else Moorlach knows that we don’t know?