Clerk of Courts Rachel Sadoff responds to Commissioner Lober’s request she not audit his spending

The Brevard County Clerk of Courts Rachel Sadoff issued the following press release after news broke this morning of Commissioner Lober request her office not conduct an audit into his purchase card spending which has recently come under-fire.


STATEMENT BY CLERK & COMPTROLLER RACHEL M. SADOFF REGARDING HER ROLE AS COUNTY AUDITOR

The following statement in full is attributable to Clerk & Comptroller Rachel M. Sadoff:

“As an elected official and engaged member of our community, I have built friendships with many of our elected officials and their staffs.  This enables our offices to work in a collegiate and professional manner for the betterment of our shared constituents, breaking down barriers to service where we can.

Because of one of these relationships, an elected official under audit has asked me to step aside in reviewing purchase card expenditures made by County Commissioners.  This same elected official is married to my office’s general counsel, who does not oversee county-related legal matters.  My chief deputy, who is a member of the Florida Bar, as well as capable outside counsel have handled these areas at my own insistence to avoid any appearance of impropriety.

I take my role as Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller most seriously and would never let a friendship influence how myself or my office exercises authority under the law.  To do so would be a clear and troublesome derogation of my independent role and my oath of office. 

Any insinuation that my office cannot or will not conduct an impartial audit ignores the fact that the staff who support our comptroller functions are dedicated, non-political professionals who have hundreds of years of experience in financial competency and transparent government spending.  When necessary, we will retain experts in the fields of public accounting and government fraud to bolster our own expertise as warranted.  Any suggestion, however, that hired auditors who ultimately serve at the Commissioners’ pleasure are more capable of conducting an audit as opposed to the constitutional officer who is answerable to voters is misplaced and lacks a basic understanding of the comptroller’s role in county government.

To be clear, this office will conduct fair, unbiased, and complete audits at our own initiation or in our discretion when requested by the Board of County Commissioners.  We will follow where our investigations lead us and will report our findings to appropriate authorities should we have reason to believe there have been violations of policy or law.”

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