Mayor Doug Wilder has called into question City Auditor Umesh Dalal's credibility, legal authority and personal integrity in a letter sent to the auditor's office July 3.
The letter was sent in response to a letter from Dalal sent July 2 thanking Wilder for meeting with him to discuss difficulties he has encountered from Wilder's staff in pursuing his audit.
"Let me be clear that your authority to conduct investigations under the charter is not unlimited," Wilder writes, going on to accuse Dalal of colluding with either school or City Council officials in pursuing audits of areas sensitive to Wilder.
In his strongly worded response, Wilder tells Dalal that the mayor has the authority to withhold information from the auditor's office. He lambasts Dalal for not completing his audit of the city's school administration before proceeding with an audit of the city's procurement office.
That office, under fire for shoddy records of, among other things, how many vehicles are in the city's fleet, is overseen by beleaguered Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Harry Black, who also has questioned the integrity of Dalal's department.
Dalal, in various interviews and public statements, has said that his audit of city schools was always envisioned as a multi-part audit. He repeatedly has stated that the first audit of schools was incomplete, but that his plans for "phase two" of that audit would rectify deficiencies in the first audit.
The second phase of the schools audit is ongoing, with improved cooperation from schools officials, Dalal says. Auditor's letter to Wilder.