OAKRIDGE, Ore. — Thursday night the city council and residents got a full accounting about how the city ended up so deeply in the red. Considering the time of year, the news was like coal in their Christmas stocking.
Tiffany Couch, a forensic accountant from Vancouver, Washington, spent the past few months reviewing cancelled checks dating back two years and poring over 28 months’ worth of city ledgers.
In her report to the Oakridge city council, she said someone was making large withdrawals from Oakridge’s savings account to pay city bills. Couch said it’s hard to imagine that no one in upper management knew it was happening.
“Expenditures were made without having a clear picture of how much money was in the bank,” she told KEZI 9 News, “and how actual revenues were matching up with budgeted revenues. And so expenditures were made sort of in a vacuum.”
Couch also said that, in addition to faulty reporting practices regarding the budget over the past two years, she also found discrepancies in the current budget. She recommended the city revisit those numbers at the next budget meeting.